US President Barack Obama has said he will not allow jihadists to carve out a “caliphate” straddling Syria and Iraq according to a BBC report.
Mr Obama said there would be further air strikes if necessary but no US military operation on the ground.
In an interview with the New York Times, Mr Obama said he was willing to consider broader use of military strikes to push back IS, but warned that Iraq’s political leaders had to start working with each other.
“We’re not going to let them create some caliphate through Syria and Iraq,” he said. “But we can only do that if we know that we have got partners on the ground who are capable of filling the void.”
In his weekly radio address, Mr Obama emphasised that the US air strikes and humanitarian effort in northern Iraq were vital but limited.
“In recent days, terrorist forces neared [Irbil],” he said. “I made it clear that if they attempted to advance further, our military would respond with targeted strikes.
“That’s what we’ve done and, if necessary, that’s what we will continue to do.”
He also promised not to let the US be “dragged into fighting another war in Iraq”.
A senior official in the Kurdistan Regional Government said that following the US air strikes, the Peshmerga would “first regroup, second redeploy in areas they retreated from, and third help the displaced return home”.