US President Barack Obama said it will take several days to make a decision on military action in Iraq to stop a growing advance by militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.
He said any US action would need to be accompanied by efforts from Iraqi leaders and other neighbouring countries.
“I do want to be clear, though: this is not solely or even primarily a military challenge. Over the past decade, American troops have made extraordinary sacrifices to give Iraqis an opportunity to claim their own future. Unfortunately, Iraq’s leaders have been unable to overcome to often the mistrust and sectarian differences that have long been simmering there,” Obama said in a statement to reporters at the White House.”
He continued, “…and in the absence of this type of political effort, short-term military action, including any assistance we might provide, won’t succeed.”
Obama said the US would only take action if there was a political plan in place by the Iraqi government.
Our euronews correspondent Stephan Grobe said: “The collapse of the Iraqi security forces has caught the Obama administration off guard – although the White House claims to have ramped up military assistance for quite some time now. So what’s next? Obama has ruled out sending ground troops, but air strikes are more and more likely.”