Sep 11, 2014

By Scott Walker

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U.S. President Barack Obama has announced he is sending more forces to the middle east to counteract the threat from the Islamic State extremists.

In a prime-time address last night, Obama said a core principal of his presidency is, “if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

The US will send an additional 475 personnel to join the thousand already in Iraq. But he stressed that American troops will not engage in ground combat. They are there to assist local forces in securing ground after US airstrikes.

At the same time Saudi Arabia will play host to a US training force that will prepare Syrian rebels to fight back against ISIL in Syria.

The twin moves are a reversal of previous US policy. Obama has been reluctant to engage in combat in Syria or directly arm rebels there. It’s an indication of how serious the US is taking the threat of ISIL.

The Prime Minister’s Office says Canadian forces in Iraq will not expand their mission into Syria.

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