The White House said Monday that President Obama has not made a decision to pursue military action in Syria -- but would not say whether or not he has been presented with any specific options yet.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest would not say whether Obama has yet been presented with strategies to help eliminate the Islamic State, a militant group that officials said was responsible for beheading an American journalist last week. Obama, who ordered air strikes against the group and a humanitarian mission in Iraq earlier this month, was meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Monday in what Earnest described as a routine weekly discussion.
Earnest said there are "entire wings" of the Pentagon that are "dedicated to making sure the president has a range of plans and options that they can present to him when -- if and when necessary," he said. "But I’m not going to be a position to talk about the communication at this point between those military advisers and the advice that they’re offering to the commander in chief."
The press secretary said Obama is "committed" to coordinating military action with Congress, and has done so with the airstrikes that are currently taking place in Iraq. But he did not say whether Obama would seek congressional approval should he decide to take military action in Syria. He also said military strikes are not the only option to help eliminate the Islamic State.