June 12 - U.S. President Obama refuses to rule out U.S. action in Iraq, as House Speaker Boehner accuses Obama of ''taking a nap'' while violence surges. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
U.S. President Barack Obama refuses to rule out U.S. action in Iraq against Sunni Islamist militants who have surged out of the north to threaten Baghdad, hoping to establish their own jihadist state. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "I don't rule out anything because 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." He says there will be short-term immediate actions that need to be done militarily. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "I think it's fair to say that in our consultations with the Iraqis there will be some short-term, immediate things that need to be done militarily, and our national security team is looking at all the options." With voters wary of renewing costly military entanglements of the past decade, Obama already last year stepped back from launching air strikes in Syria. But fears of violence spreading may increase pressure for international action. Obama is already coming under criticism from Republican House Speaker John Boehner over the advance of the insurgent group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE JOHN BOEHNER SAYING: "They are already one hundred miles from Baghdad, and what is the President doing? He is taking a nap." Obama tried to keep a contingent of troops in Iraq beyond 2011 to prevent a return of insurgents but failed to reach and agreement with Nuri al-Maliki's government.