Obama: ‘I Don’t Rule Out’ Airstrikes in Iraq

by Joel Gehrke

President Obama said that he’s not ruling out a bombing campaign against the terrorists who have captured one of the major cities in Iraq, but the “international community” will also need to provide assistance to Iraq, which Obama said needs to respond to the crisis politically as well.

“I don’t rule out anything because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foot hold in either Iraq or Syria, for that matter,” Obama said Thursday. when asked if the United States was considering airstrikes or other military action.

The New York Times reported that “Iraq’s appeals for a military response have so far been rebuffed by the White House, which has been reluctant to open a new chapter in a conflict that President Obama has insisted was over when the United States withdrew the last of its forces from Iraq in 2011.”

Obama emphasized that the United States is already helping Iraq. “That includes, in some cases military equipment, it includes intelligence assistance, it includes a whole host of issues. But what we’ve seen over the last couple of days indicates the degree to which Iraq’s going to need more help,” he said, per the press pool report. ”It’s going to need more help from us and it’s going to need more help from the international community.”