President Obama says the US will send military aid to Iraq, and is considering the possibility of air strikes, to help the Iraqi government deal with a Sunni insurgency that has already taken over two major cities and claims it will march on Baghdad.
The US has also pulled out Americans from a military base in the north.
The Iraqi government has been asking for more than a year for surveillance and armed drones to combat a Sunni insurgency that has gained strength from battlefield successes in neighboring Syria.
‘‘What we’ve seen over the last couple of days indicates the degree to which Iraq is going to need more help,’’ Obama said. ‘‘It’s going to need more help from us, and it’s going to need more help from the international community.’’
He added: ‘‘We do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq, or Syria for that matter.’’