WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Barack Obama said Friday he is weighing a range of options for countering the violent Islamic insurgency in Iraq, but he warned government leaders in Baghdad the U.S. will not take military action unless they move to address deep political troubles.
“We’re not going to allow ourselves to be dragged back into a situation in which, while we’re there we’re keeping a lid on things, and after enormous sacrifices by us, after we’re not there, people start acting in ways that are not conducive to the long-term stability and prosperity of the country,” Obama said from the South Lawn of the White House.
The president did not specify what options he was considering, but he ruled out sending American troops back into combat in Iraq. The last U.S. troops withdrew in 2011 after more than eight years of war. Obama said the U.S. has poured a lot into training and equipping Iraqi forces. American soldiers who fought there can’t believe the situation has deteriorated so quickly, CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported.
“We gave them everything they need to be a free country and the toughest pill to swallow is to see this go down in a matter of weeks,” said Sgt. Henry Hiller, who served in Iraq in 2007.