Biden leaves door open to ground troops in Iraq

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Vice President Joe Biden is apparently leaving the door open to U.S. ground troops helping Iraqi security forces repel Islamic State militants.

During a visit to a neighborhood cafe in Des Moines, Iowa, Biden was asked if he agreed with comments Tuesday by Gen. Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military officer. Dempsey told a congressional committee that American ground troops may be needed to battle Islamic State forces if President Barack Obama’s current strategy of expanded air strikes fails.

RELATED: Obama: I won’t commit to another ground war in Iraq

Referring to Dempsey, Biden replied that Dempsey’s “conclusion is that it is not needed now.” Biden added: “We’ll determine that based on how the effort goes.”

The White House has repeatedly rejected the possibility of sending U.S. troops into Iraq for combat missions.

THOMAS BEAUMONT, Associated Press

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