President Obama says the U.S. is prepared to take "targeted and precise military action" in Iraq, if necessary. In a White House news briefing today, the President said he is poised to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help curb a growing militant insurgency. He also insisted that American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq. Obama said the U.S. will share intelligence with the Iraqi government. He also argued that Iraq must move toward creating a more inclusive political process to ease sectarian tensions.

The President said there is no military solution to the growing crisis in Iraq and stressed that his decisions will continue to be guided by U.S. national security interests. He stressed that it is in America's best interest to avoid a civil war in Iraq or allow creation of a terrorist safe haven there. The President was asked if he regrets not leaving a residual force in Iraq when U.S. combat forces were withdrawn. He said that was a decision made by the Iraqi government at the time.

Obama said Iran can play a constructive role in helping ease sectarian tensions in Iraq, if Tehran sends a message of inclusiveness. The White House has insisted that the U.S. and Iran have a shared interest in stability in Iraq. (Metro Networks Inc)