(NBC) -- The U.S. will not send troops to Iraq amid the deteriorating situation there, President Obama reiterated Friday, but America will "do our part" to help the troubled nation.
Obama spoke as radical Sunni fighters continued their rapid advance across Iraq, raising fears of a sectarian conflict.
The president's remarks came a day after he told reporters "I don't rule out anything" when it comes to a U.S. response to the violence in Iraq.
"This is an area we've been watching with a lot of concern, not just over the last days but the last several months," Obama said Thursday. "What we've seen indicates Iraq's going to need more help, from us and from the international community."
Iraq asked the U.S. for air assistance in tempering the militant uprising, U.S. officials said earlier this week. White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that Obama was referring to air strikes when he commented on Iraq earlier.
"We are not contemplating ground troops. I want to be clear about that," Carney said.
The developments in Iraq have prompted leading Republicans to call for immediate action. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., voiced security concerns, urging U.S. involvement as militants turned sights on the capital.