'Obama and his team closely watching developments in Iraq'

US President Barack Obama and his team is closely watching the situation in Iraq, the White House said Wednesday noting that military action alone could not address the challenge being posed by the Islamic State.

'Obama and his team closely watching developments in Iraq'

Washington: US President Barack Obama and his team is closely watching the situation in Iraq, the White House said Wednesday noting that military action alone could not address the challenge being posed by the Islamic State.

"The President and his team are closely watching the situation in Iraq and monitoring the ongoing military activities, US military activities against ISIL and Iraq to protect American citizens and interests in that country," the White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, said.

"We're also carefully watching the efforts of Iraq's political leaders to form an inclusive government. It's important for the Iraqi people and for Iraq's political leaders to unite that country to face down the threat that's posed by ISIL," he said.

"We have said all along that that is a key component of the comprehensive strategy that the President is going to put in place and has put in place to deal with this situation," he said.

Asserting that military action alone will not sufficiently confront ISIL and deal with that threat on a sustainable basis, Earnest said there's a very important role for the American military to play and they can make a substantial contribution to stabilising the security situation in that country.

"But for us to have a sustainable solution, it's critically important for Iraq's political leaders to unite the country so that they can have a united front as they confront ISIL that will allow them to have an integrated, sophisticated security force: both an Iraqi security force and a Kurdish security force that can be on the ground fighting ISIL," he said.

The US, he said, is deeply engaged in conversations with regional governments who obviously have a very clear, vested interest in the outcome.

The US is also in touch with its partners in Western Europe and around the globe to engage the international community in this effort, he said.

Earnest said he sense of a lot of people who are perceiving this situation is that the most important, powerful and effective tool in the president's toolbox is kinetic military action.

And there is no doubt that forceful military can play a role in stabilising the security situation in Iraq, he said.

"But what we have learned in very vivid terms over the last decade or so is that a US-led military operation is not an enduring solution to this situation," he said. 

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