WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States has not yet developed a strategy for confronting Islamic State in Syria, an acknowledgement that a decision had not been made on whether to launch air strikes against the militant group.
Obama said he has asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to prepare options for confronting Islamic State and said Secretary of State John Kerry would travel to the region to help create an anti-Islamic State coalition.
Obama's strategy for Islamic State is not limited to military action. It includes supporting moderate Sunni rebels in Syria and encouraging a unity government in Baghdad between Shi'ites and Sunnis, who have engaged in sectarian battles.
"My priority at this point is to make sure that the gains that ISIL (Islamic State) made in Iraq are rolled back and that Iraq has the opportunity to govern itself effectively and secure itself," he said.