Speaking from the White House, President Barack Obama said that Iraq will need additional help from the US and the international community to stem an insurgent threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
ISIS, a militant group, has taken control of Mosul and it is threatening to take over Baghdad as well.
While the president is not considering sending troops back to Iraq, he said the US "will not rule anything out … This is an area that we have been watching with a lot of concern."
The Iraqi government claims it has retaken control of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's former hometown, after insurgents appeared to have taken control of the city. Still, major problems persist.
"The government has to take a serious look at the makeup and the doctrine of the new Iraqi armed forces," said Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, speaking from London. "You cannot run a country with such commanders," adding that while nobody has called for US troops on the ground in Iraq, Washington has thus far been cooperative and, according to Zebari, it has a responsibility to be proactive against terrorism in that country.
The insurgent attacks are swift and effective, easily overcoming Iraq's American-trained security forces, for which Washington spent some $15 billion preparing and arming over the past several years.
The goal of ISIS is to establish an Islamic caliphate (state) across the Middle East, and the fact that it can currently fight on two fronts (Syria, Iraq) hints at the potential of the rising terrorist group.
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