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Boehner to Obama: 'Engage' on Iraq

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday sharply criticized President Obama over the resurgence of al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq and said the president must send equipment and other aid — but not U.S. troops — back to the country.

The al Qaeda affiliate, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has taken control of Fallujah and other key areas, creating the most serious security crisis for the Iraqi government since the last U.S. troops withdrew in December 2011.

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Boehner brought up the issue unprompted at his weekly Capitol press conference, saying that progress made by the U.S. in its nine-year war in Iraq had been threatened across the country and “reversed” in Fallujah.

“A status of forces agreement with Iraq should have been agreed to, and this administration failed to deliver,” Boehner said, referring to an accord that would have maintained a residual U.S. force to help the Iraqi government.

The Speaker criticized Obama for delegating the Iraq portfolio to Vice President Biden and called on him to “take a more active role in dealing with the issues in Iraq.”

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