US: We'll Help Iraq, but No Ground Troops

Beyond that, Obama says 'all the options' are on the table
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2014 2:35 PM CDT
US: We'll Help Iraq, but No Ground Troops
President Obama answers questions on Iraq during his meeting with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Thursday in the Oval Office.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

As insurgents aligned with al-Qaeda continue to make huge gains in Iraq, President Obama said today that the US is poised to provide military help of some kind, reports the LA Times. "I don’t rule out anything because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria," said President Obama when asked about airstrikes. And though he said "all the options" were being considered, White House spokesman Jay Carney clarified later that the US is not considering ground troops, reports the Washington Post.

“Iraq’s going to need more help," said Obama in his comments. "It’s going to need more help from us, and it’s going to need more help from the international community.” (An earlier report said the US had rejected Iraq's request for airstrikes.) Obama again placed some of the blame on the government of Nouri al-Maliki and said the new violence "should be a wake-up call" for his regime. "There has to be a political component to this so that Sunni and Shia who care about building a functioning state" can come together. "That is going to require concessions on the part of both Shia and Sunni that we haven’t seen so far." John Boehner, meanwhile, accused of Obama of "taking a nap" as the insurgents gained a foothold, reports Time. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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