'We Can't Do It for Them': Obama Says Troops Not Going Back Into Iraq
Telling Iraq's leaders to deal with their own problems, President Obama said he will not be sending U.S. troops back into Iraq. He maintained that the U.S. is not going to be "dragged back into" Iraq unless the country's leaders demonstrate they can come up with a long-term political plan.
Obama explained that he will be deliberating over the next several days on a response to the growing crisis in Iraq, as militants overrun key cities and move toward Baghdad from the north.
"People should not anticipate this is something that is gonna happen overnight. We want to make sure that we have good eyes on the situation there. We want to make sure that we’ve gathered all the intelligence that is necessary so that if in fact I do direct and order any actions there, that they’re targeted, they’re precise, and they're gonna have an effect," said Obama.
Watch the remarks above.
Here's more from AP:
President Barack Obama said Friday he is weighing a range of options for halting a violent Islamic insurgency in Iraq, but he warned that American military action alone cannot stabilize the country.
"The United States will do our part, but ultimately it's up to the Iraqis as a sovereign nation to solve their problems," Obama said from the South Lawn of the White House. He then boarded his Marine helicopter, beginning a four-day trip to North Dakota and California.
The president did not specify what options he was considering but said he would not send American troops back into combat in Iraq. The last U.S. troops withdrew in 2011 after more than eight years of war.
Administration officials said Obama is considering airstrikes using drones or manned aircraft. Other short-term options include an increase in surveillance and intelligence gathering, including satellite coverage and other monitoring efforts. The U.S. also is likely to increase various forms of aid to Iraq, including money, military training and both lethal and non-lethal equipment.
Obama suggested it could take several days before the administration finalizes its response to the situation on the ground.