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Obama: Iraq conflict due to festering sectarian divisions

Barack Obama says Iraq's current conflict is the result of sectarian divisions that have been allowed to fester.

US President Barack Obama. Credit: Reuters

The US President said on Thursday that he would send up to 300 military advisers to the country to aid the fight against the group ISIS.

"Some of the forces that have always possibly pulled Iraq apart are stronger now, (and) those forces that could keep the country united are weaker," he told NBC Nightly News.

"It is ultimately going to be up to the Iraqi leadership to try to pull the politics of the country back together again."

Read: Obama clear he has lost faith in Iraq's prime minister Maliki

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Obama tweets video backing US football team in the World Cup

Barack Obama has posted a video on via the White House Twitter page to say "Go Team USA. Show the world what we are made of" as America took on Ghana in the World Cup.

Obama has 'not given orders' to strike Iraq militants

The US President has not handed down any orders for US military airstrikes against ISIS militants threatening Baghdad, or any other military intervention in Iraq, senior US defence officials have told NBC News.

The officials could not say whether President Obama had also made a decision regarding possible US military action in Iraq.

US President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Iraq. Credit: Reuters

Some 100 American soldiers and Marines arrived in Baghdad overnight to provide additional security for the US embassy and assist in any evacuations if necessary.

More: US and Iran 'prepare for direct talks' over Iraqi situation

Obama rules out sending US troops back to Iraq

President Barack Obama has said he needs several days to determine how America will help Iraq deal with a militant insurgency, but he ruled out sending US troops back into combat.

Obama told a news conference he will explore "a range of other options" after key Iraqi towns and cities were seized by the Islamist militant group ISIS.

His cautious response today has prompted criticism and accusations that the US risks losing credibility.

ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports:

President Obama: US looking at 'all options' on Iraq

President Obama has said his team is "looking at all options" to tackle the insurgency in Iraq.

Addressing reporters in the White House, the US President added that there would be "short term, immediate things that need to be done militarily" to combat Islamist group ISIS.

Read: Iraq air force strikes insurgent positions around Mosul

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Obama: Putin must recognise new Ukraine President

Barack Obama has told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he must recognise the new Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko in order to help de-escalate the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin in front of Barack Obama before a 'family photo' of leaders at the D-Day commemoration. Credit: Kay Nietfeld/DPA/Press Association Images

According to a White House official, the US President also told Mr Putin that if Russia works with the new Ukrainian authorities there could be "openings" to reduce tensions in the region.

Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes added that Mr Obama had demanded "ceasing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, and stopping the provision of arms and material across the border".

Read: Cameron tells Putin: Ukraine situation 'not acceptable'

US commitment to liberty 'written in blood' on beaches

US President Barack Obama said the American commitment to liberty which is "written in blood" on the beaches of Normandy endures with a new generation.

Speaking at a D-Day memorial event in Colleville-sur-Mer, Obama said: "I am honoured to return here today to pay tribute to the men and women of a generation who defied every danger.

"Among them are veterans of D-Day, and gentlemen we are truly humbled by your presence here today."

WWII veterans and world leaders mark D-Day's 70th anniversary: Latest updates

Salmond: Scotland could be extra ally for Obama

Responding to Barack Obama's intervention on the referendum, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond borrowed Mr Obama's most famous election slogan to declare "Yes we can" have independence.

Mr Salmond said:

As President Obama rightly observes, the decision on Scotland's future is up to the people of Scotland.

We are deeply fortunate as a nation that we have the opportunity to gain our nation's independence in such a profoundly democratic way, as Mr Obama himself previously acknowledged - and not through conflict as has been the case with so many nations, including the United States itself.

An independent Scotland will mean that America has two great friends and allies here rather than one.

We are focused on securing a vote for independence this September and making Scotland a land of opportunity - and our message to the people of Scotland in the campaign in the months ahead is 'Yes we can'.

Obama voices support for Scotland staying in UK

Barack Obama has voiced his support for Scotland staying in the union, saying it is the interests of the US that the UK remains a "strong, robust and united partner".

Although he said it was "up to the people of Scotland" to decide their own future, it seemed the union had "worked pretty well" so far.

Labour minister Douglas Alexander, speaking on behalf of the Better Together campaign, strongly welcomed Mr Obama's words, saying: "His clear statement of support for the UK staying together will resonate with many of us here in Scotland."

“As a global statesman President Obama understands that interdependence is a defining feature of our modern world, and that building bridges, not putting up new barriers, is the challenge of our generation,” he added.

Read: Scottish Tories set out merits of a 'no' vote

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