The US President Barack Obama has ordered some 300 military advisers to Iraq but ruled out committing any combat troops.
Following a meeting with his national security team he also said more intelligence and surveillance was needed before the US could provide air support.
“We will be prepare to take targeted and precise military actions if and when we determine the situation on the ground requires. If we do I will consult Congress and leaders in Iraq and in the region,” he said.
“We simply don’t have the ability to solve this problem by sending in tens of thousands of troops,” Obama added.
Obama also said Iran could play a constructive role in the conflict if its message was the same as Washington’s; namely that all sides in Iraq need to be united and respected.