As violence continued to spread across Iraq Thursday, President Obama left open the possibility that the U.S. would join the fray to keep the nation from devolving into a full-scale civil war.
"What we've seen over the last couple of days indicates the degree to which Iraq's going to need more help," Obama said.
"I don't rule out anything," he added, "because we have a stake in making sure these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in Iraq or Syria."
Obama's remarks came shortly before The Wall Street Journal reported that Iran had deployed Revolutionary Guard forces to aid struggling Iraqi troops, a move that could push the U.S. closer to intervention. Earlier in the day, Kurdish forces flooded the city of Kirkuk, while Sunni militants — who in recent days captured other northern and western cities — continued their march toward Baghdad.