WASHINGTON A White House spokesman confirmed on Friday that the administration is not ruling out airstrikes to target the radical militant group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
The comment from spokesman Josh Earnest at a daily press briefing echoed what a senior administration official said on Thursday_that airstrikes against ISIS are still possible beyond Iraq, including in Syria.
“The president has demonstrated a willingness to go into other countries where necessary to protect our national and homeland security,” Earnest said, noting that the U.S. has taken action in Yemen and Somalia.
Asked if further authorization from Congress is needed for such strikes, Earnest said the president has already demonstrated a willingness to act, “where necessary, to safeguard the national security interests of the United States. And, that applies in this situation, too.”
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He said the administration is committed to consulting with Congress on Iraq.
President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that he would send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help advice and train Iraqi forces as they fight ISIS. While he did not rule out airstrikes, he said American combat troops would not be returning to the country.