WASHINGTON – The United States will not be sending ground troops into Iraq to quell the violence there, President Obama said in a statement on June 13.
And although Iraqi forces have been unable to stop the violence there, he said, “it is not primarily a military problem.”
These terrorists, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), pose a threat to the Iraqi people, Obama said, and eventually can pose a threat to American interests as well.
Despite an emphasis on no combat forces, “I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options” for supporting the Iraqi government, Obama said. Those options may include airstrikes.
Obama chastised Iraqi leaders for not setting aside sectarian differences, which he said lead to vulnerability in governing the nation. They must make a “serious effort” to set those differences aside, he said, “to promote stability and account for the legitmate interests of all Iraq’s communities.”
“This is a wake-up call” to Iraq’s leaders, Obama said. “We can’t do it for them.”