Boehner: U.S. needs to help Iraq in battle against al-Qaida

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| Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that the United States should provide more equipment and other aid to the Iraqi government in its battle against al-Qaida, but he ruled out a reintroduction of troops for now.

The Republican leader said President Obama must get more involved in helping Iraq as it seeks to reclaim two cities, Fallujah and Ramadi, overrun by al-Qaida fighters. Boehner said America has a vital national interest in Iraq and warned the progress made by American forces before troops were withdrawn after nine years of war is being threatened.

“I think the president himself ought to take a more active role in dealing with the issues in Iraq,” said Boehner, R-Ohio. “Secondly, we need to get equipment to the Iraqis and other services that would help them battle this counterterrorism effort that they're attempting to do. There are things that we can do to help the Iraqis that do not involve putting U.S. troops on the ground.”

Pressed on whether he thought U.S. troops should be sent back to Iraq, Boehner said he did not think “that is called for at this point in time.”

The Obama administration has ruled out sending American troops back in, but has been delivering missiles to help bolster Iraqi forces, and more are on the way.

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