U.S. President Barack Obama and top Congressional leaders are looking into the possible options for dealing with an insurgent uprising in Iraq over the past week.
The extremist group ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, has seized major cities in a swift move against the Shi'ite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey.
(SOUNDBITE) U.S. ARMY GENERAL MARTIN DEMPSEY SAYING:
"It is in our national security interest to counter ISIL wherever we find them."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterated what Obama has said in the past.
SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN JAY CARNEY SAYING:
"We continue to have an important assistance relationship with Iraq and we always in a situation like this continue to be focused on our national security interests of the United States and our people and our allies but ultimately the Iraqi people have to decide their future."
Meanwhile, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, didn't seem hopeful of the Baghdad's ability to run itself.
(SOUNDBITE) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER SAYING:
"The President's been watching and we've been watching for over a year as a situation in Iraq continue to be undermined and yet nothing, nothing has been done to reverse it."
This, as Kurdish security forces clashed with ISIL militants in Kirkuk as Maliki's forces worked to slow ISIL's momentum as they close in on Baghdad.