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Local veterans, families watch conflict in Iraq

CINCINNATI (Angenette Levy) -- President Obama announced Friday that he will not send soldiers into Iraq to deal with a terrorist group that has taken control of cities in the country.

As conditions in parts of the country deteriorate, veterans and those who lost loved ones in Iraq hope the war wasn't fought only to let the country fall apart.

"With what limited information is available to the public, I kind of believe it was somewhat inevitable," said Max Webster.

He served three tours of duty in Iraq. Webster said he saw the good that the U.S. did in Iraq. Now he can only watch from thousands of miles away as jihadists try to undo it.

"Now that we're not there the bad guys are taking hold and we're not there to police it," Webster said.

Webster joined the military after 9/11. He believes the U.S. should have kept some type of military presence in the country. Keith Maupin, the father of SSG Matt Maupin who was captured and killed, agrees.

"I think we should have left some in there. I really do because we're still in Germany. Still in Japan," Maupin said.

Maupin recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to learn more about an Iraqi man being charged with Matt's murder. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has taken control of the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tikrit. Maupin fears what could happen to the man who killed his son if ISIS takes control of Baghdad.
 
"If these bad guys take over this guy is going to go free. You know I have  big issue with that." Maupin said.

Congressman Brad Wenstrup, an Iraq war veteran, said he feels for the Iraqi people and believes the U.S. military should have stayed in Iraq.

"I think the region and the world is in danger with a group like this gaining access to wealth and a vital nation in the Middle East," Rep. Wenstrup said via phone Friday evening.

President Obama hasn't said how the U.S. will respond but options could include airstrikes. Max Webster said sending in soldiers should be on the table.

"Based on the limited information I would say go back in with a ground force," Webster said.

Congressman Wenstrup said he doesn't know enough about logistics at this point to say whether ground troops are a good idea.




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