Washington (CNN) - With approval in hand to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight the so-called Islamic State terror group, President Barack Obama said Thursday the plan keeps with "the key principle" of U.S. strategy: No American combat troops on the ground.
"The American troops deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission," he said in televised remarks from the White House.
"Their mission is to advise and assist our partners on the ground. ...We can destroy ISIL without having our troops fight another ground war in the Middle East."
More than 40 countries, including Arab nations, have offered assistance in the battle against Islamic State, known as ISIS or ISIL, the President said.