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Obama says won't let Islamic militants create caliphate: Report

Published on Aug 9, 2014 2:26 PM
 
Kurdish peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants on the front line in Khazer on Aug 8, 2014. US President Barack Obama said he was willing to consider broader use of military strikes in Iraq to beat back Islamist militants, but Iraqi political leaders must first figure out a way to work with each other, the New York Times reported. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Barack Obama said he was willing to consider broader use of military strikes in Iraq to beat back Islamist militants, but Iraqi political leaders must first figure out a way to work with each other, the New York Times reported.

In a wide-ranging interview conducted on Friday, Obama also expressed regrets over not doing more to help Libya, pessimism about prospects for Middle East peace, concerns that Russia could invade Ukraine, and frustration that fellow economic superpower China has not stepped up to help.

Obama on Thursday authorised the US military to conduct targeted strikes on Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq, a limited operation designed to prevent what he called a potential "genocide" of a religious sect and also protect American officials working in the country.

But in the interview with Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Obama said the US may eventually do more to help Iraq repel the militant group, which seeks to control its own state.

 
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