The United States' broadening military operation in Iraq could soon grow yet again, as the White House may consider deploying ground troops as part of a humanitarian mission.
Obama's top national security adviser, Benjamin Rhodes, said Wednesday that the president would soon receive proposals for aiding the Iraqi refugees whom militants trapped atop a mountain, according to The New York Times. Should the military advisers suggest sending in ground troops, Rhodes said, Obama would consider the proposal.
That said, Rhodes cautioned that the president still opposed a blanket ground campaign to proactively fight ISIS, claiming troops would solely be carrying out a limited humanitarian rescue mission.
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"What he's ruled out is reintroducing U.S. forces into combat on the ground in Iraq," Rhodes said, adding that the potential use of troops to aid the Yazidis would be "different than reintroducing U.S. forces in a combat role."
Still, the mere possibility that troops could head back to Iraq is the latest sign of potential mission creep. Earlier this month, the U.S. began launching targeted air strikes against the Sunni militants. And late Tuesday, the administration announced it had deployed another 130 military advisers to northern Iraq, bringing the total of U.S. troops in the country to around 1,000.
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