Manuel Balce Ceneta, Associated Press
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama board the Air Force One at Palm Springs International Airport, in Palm Springs, Calif., Monday, June 16, 2014, on their way back to the White House, wrapping up the president’s four-day trip that took him to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in Cannon Ball, N.D. and delivering the commencement address at University of California, Irvine.

WASHINGTON — Three U.S. officials say the White House is considering sending a small number of American special forces soldiers to Iraq in an urgent attempt to help Baghdad slow the nation's rampant Sunni insurgency.

President Barack Obama has explicitly ruled out deploying U.S. troops to Iraq for combat. But the plan suggests he is willing to put Americans into a collapsing security situation for training.

The U.S. officials said only up to about 100 special forces soldiers would deploy to advise Iraqi troops that are battling the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The insurgency represents the worst threat to the Shiite-led government since the American military left in 2011.

The U.S. officials spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the plans by name.