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Obama to speak from White House ahead of national security meeting on Syria, Iraq

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will speak at 4 p.m. from the White House before convening a meeting with his national security team on the militant threat in Syria and Iraq.

The U.S. is already launching airstrikes against Islamic State group targets in Iraq and Obama is considering similar action in Syria.

The president's remarks also come amid increased tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Officials in Ukraine say two Russian military columns rolled into the southeastern part of the country after missiles were fired at a border post.

The U.S. and European Union have levied economic sanctions against Russia as punishment for its provocations, but the penalties appear to have had little impact on Russian President Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn)'s thinking.

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