Obama on Iraq security: ‘We can’t do it for them’

President Barack Obama answers questions on violence in Iraq during his meeting with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama answers questions on violence in Iraq during his meeting with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says Iraq’s government must make a sincere effort to address sectarian differences, or else U.S. military help won’t succeed in curbing the insurgency there.

He says, quote, “We can’t do it for them.”

Obama says the U.S. won’t send troops back into Iraq. But he says he’s asked his national security team to prepare a range of other options. He says he’ll review those options in the coming days.

Obama says the risk posed by terrorists in Iraq could eventually pose a threat to U.S. interests, too.

A fast-moving insurgency in Iraq has taken over key cities, raising fears Iraq is slipping back into sectarian chaos following the U.S. withdrawal in 2011.

Obama spoke just before departing the White House en route to North Dakota.

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