Obama: 'U.S. Troops in Iraq Do Not & Will Not Have a Combat Mission'
President Obama spoke from U.S. Central Command at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base, attempting to further explain his strategy for taking on ISIS. The key question in recent days has been whether the U.S. can accomplish its goals without putting troops on the ground to fight ISIS.
"I want to be clear. The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission," said Obama, adding that U.S. forces will support the Iraqis in the fight against the terrorist army.
He argued this is the only solution that will work "in the long term," explaining that the U.S. will use air power, lead a broad coalition against ISIS and train and equip partners on the ground.
"As your Commander-in-Chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq. After a decade of massive ground deployments, it is more effective to use our unique capabilities in support of partners on the ground so they can secure their own countries' futures," he said.
Obama drew applause from the service members when he promised that ISIS terrorists will learn the same thing as the leaders of al Qaeda.
"We mean what we say. Our reach is long. If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven. We will find you eventually."
Watch his full remarks above.