Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 10:47:44 am
In a statement this morning, President Obama said he will not be sending US troops to Iraq, but did not rule out other types of military action such as airstrikes.
Speaking just before leaving for North Dakota, Obama told reporters that Iraqi leaders would have to reach a political solution to the sectarian divide in their country by making compromises with their opponents.
"We can't do it for them," the president said, repeating the same phrase a few minutes later.
The insurgent group, which calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), "poses a danger to Iraq and its people," Obama said. "And given the nature of these terrorists, it could pose a threat, eventually, to American interests as well."
Obama said the insurgents' recent gains should serve as "a wake-up call" to the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and he cautioned that he would not exercise any military option until Iraq's leaders demonstrated their commitment to bridging differences between sectarian groups.
In other news, the Pentagon is reportedly moving the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush into the Persian Gulf.