President Obama reiterated today that the US will not be sending ground troops to Iraq and emphasized that Iraq has to take the lead role in turning back insurgents who threaten to overrun the country. In a brief press conference, Obama said his national security team is reviewing other ways the US military can help short of ground troops, "but ultimately it's up to the Iraqis as a sovereign nation to solve their problems," reports CNN. The US is considering airstrikes to try to slow down the advancing Sunni militants, and Obama said a decision will be made "in the days ahead," reports the New York Times.
“This poses a danger to Iraq and its people and, given the nature of these terrorists, it could pose a danger eventually to American interests as well,” said the president. He added that the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki must work toward a political solution that brings Sunnis and Shiites together, because any military intervention won't make much of a long-term difference until that happens. In London, meanwhile, John Kerry suggested that some kind of military action was imminent, reports the Washington Post. “Given the gravity of the situation, I would anticipate timely decisions from the president,” he said.