WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama spoke to the nation about his administration's response to a growing insurgency foothold in Iraq, before he departed on a trip to Indian Country and the West Coast.
He says that US military aid to Iraq depends on Baghdad government setting aside sectarianism.
Obama said Thursday he was contemplating military assistance to help the Iraqi government hold off rapid advances by Sunni militants who have been securing control of key Iraq cities and are aiming to march on Baghdad.
The insurgents, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and their gains in Iraq have forced the Obama administration to consider military steps even as it has focused on U.S. troop drawdowns in conflict areas.
Administration officials said Obama is not contemplating reinserting U.S. troops in Iraq, but air strikes are under consideration.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)