President Obama said that though the U.S. has "enormous interest" in Iraq, it is "ultimately up to the Iraqis" to resolve their conflicts. He said the U.S. is looking at options to support the Iraqi government without sending in troops. (Associated Press)
President Obama announced Friday he would not send troops to Iraq but has asked his "national security team to prepare a range of other options" to counter the growing threat posed by radical Islamist insurgents who have seized territory in northern Iraq and are threatening the capital.
Speaking just before leaving for North Dakota, Obama told reporters that Iraqi leaders would have to reach a political solution to the sectarian divide in their country by making compromises with their opponents.
“We can’t do it for them,” said the president, repeating the same phrase a few minutes later.
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Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.
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