The US has no plans yet to launch a military action in Nigeria, where Islamist extremist group Boko Haram recently abducted nearly 300 girls, and is only contemplating military assistance to help find them.
“We are not contemplating at this point an active military operation. We are contemplating military assistance that could be provided that would advise the Nigerian government as they work to find these girls,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
The military assistance that the US has been talking about providing over the last couple of days will primarily be in an advisory role, he added.
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There are about 70 military personnel in Nigeria and 20 Marines have been there for training.
“I would not contemplate a deployment of troops to begin an active military operation. But there are military resources that can be brought to bear; there is some law enforcement expertise and resources that can be brought to bear to assist the Nigerian government in their efforts to find these girls,”he said.
Earnest said Obama has made clear that he thinks that is a priority and that there are resources the US can provide.
“There are also resources that other countries who are similarly outraged by what has taken place there, who have also committed to providing some assistance to the Nigerian government,” he said.
As such the US will continue to work closely with the Nigerian government to support their efforts.
“We are going to coordinate those efforts with the international community,” Earnest said.