Less than an hour after President Obama delivered a televised statement on the beheading of American journalist James Foley, word came out that U.S. military officials are considering sending additional troops to Iraq.
The Associated Press, citing an anonymous senior U.S. official, reported that Pentagon leaders are weighing the idea of adding manpower to provide security around Baghdad. No final decision has been made.
Talk of additional troops comes as the U.S. has doubled down on airstrikes aimed at taking out the terrorist group ISIS, which released a video Tuesday showing a masked terrorist beheading Foley.
In the video, ISIS threatened to execute a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, if American airstrikes continued.
But a defiant Obama said Wednesday that the U.S. would “continue to do what we must do to protect our people.”
“There has to be an effort to extract this cancer so it does not spread,” Obama said. “There has to be a clear rejection of these kind of nihilistic ideologies. One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.”
The AP reported that American fighter jets and drones were pounding away at ISIS on Wednesday, launching airstrikes in the area of the Mosul Dam aimed at helping Iraqi and Kurdish forces create a buffer zone at the facility.
The senior U.S. official told the AP the amount of additional ground troops, if approved, would be fewer than 300.