WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Friday that the United States “will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq” at this time, but that he would be reviewing a range of other options to support the Iraqi government against a sweeping advance by militant fighters.
President Obama said Friday that unless Iraq fixes its internal political problems, short-term military help from the United States won’t make much difference.
“Any action that we may take…has to be joined by a serious and sincere effort by Iraq’s leaders,” President Obama said.
Any decision on U.S. military support for Iraq “is going to take several days,” adding that “this is not going to happen overnight,” he said.
President Obama also said he believes the civil war in Syria has been spilling over into Iraq “for some time.”
“Nobody has an interest in seeing terrorists gain a foothold inside of Iraq,” he said.
Referring to Iraq’s turmoil and problems, President Obama said “we are not going to be able to do it for them.” He said unless Iraq fixes its internal political problems, short-term military help from the United States won’t make much difference.
“The U.S. will do our part. But understand that ultimately it’s up to the Iraqis, as a sovereign nation, to solve their problems,” he said.