[QODLink]
Americas

Obama: Iraq has to solve its own problems

President says US troops will not be sent back to Iraq, but his administration is reviewing options to assist Baghdad.

Last updated: 14 Jun 2014 01:54
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

President Barack Obama has said that the United States will not be sending its troops back to Iraq, but is reviewing other options to assist the Iraqi government threatened by an advancing armed group.

"We will not be sending US troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraqi security forces," Obama said on Friday.

"The US will do our part, but ultimately it's up to the Iraqis, as a sovereign nation, to solve their problems," he said, speaking at the White House lawn.

He said that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has made significant gains in Iraq and that the armed group had overrun part of the country. 

The threat by ISIL fighters in Iraq poses a danger to the people of Iraq and also, potentially Americans, Obama said.

Military aid

Administration officials said Obama was considering air strikes using drones or manned aircraft. Other short-term options include an increase in surveillance and intelligence gathering, including satellite coverage and other monitoring efforts.

Inside Story: Should Iraq's neighbours be worried?

The US also is likely to increase various forms of aid to Iraq, including money, military training and both lethal and non-lethal equipment. 

Obama added that Iraq's government must make a sincere effort to address sectarian differences, or else US military help would not succeed in curbing the violence there.

He suggested it could take several days before the administration finalises its response to the situation on the ground.

The last US troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011 after more than eight years of war.

301

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.