Obama Iraq
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about Iraq in the Brady Briefing room of the White House on June 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama spoke about the deteriorating situation as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants move toward Baghdad after taking control over northern Iraqi cities. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the U.S. is prepared to take targeted military actions in Iraq if they would help fight a growing threat from extremist militants. He also says the U.S. is ready to send as many as 300 military advisers to Iraq.

Obama is offering an update to U.S. operations in Iraq, where al-Qaeda-inspired militants have sparked instability. He says the United States is forming joint operations centers in Baghdad and northern Iraq.

But Obama emphasizes that American combat troops would not be returning to Iraq.

Obama says the U.S. has increased its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in Iraq to better understand the threats to Baghdad.

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