6:20 p.m.: There will be boots on the ground in Iraq after all.
White House: Up to 275 troops deploying to Iraq to protect U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.— Donovan Slack (@DonovanSlack) June 16, 2014
Whether this move is a precaution (Benghazi) or a sign of the lack of confidence in Iraq's security forces (or perhaps both) remains to be seen.
3:31 p.m.: The already unlikely possibility of an alliance between Iran and the United States, who share a common enemy in the radical Sunni group ISIS, has reportedly been nixed by the White House.
Breaking: White House says U.S. won't pursue coordinated military action with Iran in Iraq. http://t.co/tYCeEMbSEk— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) June 16, 2014
Despite some recent chatter and some public flirtations (see below), even the crisis in Iraq is not dire enough to overcome the clashing interests and decades of enmity between the two countries. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said as much this afternoon:
Any conversations with the Iranian regime will not include military coordination. We're not interested in any effort to coordinate military activities with Iran."
That...sounded pretty decisive.
Claims of a massacre carried out by the radical Sunni group ISIS along with images of Iraqi soldiers being executed has raised greater alarm about the already deteriorating situation in Iraq.