"What we have made clear that is the President, as a matter of policy, will not hesitate to use military force where necessary to protect Americans," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.
"Permanently restoring - or at least restoring on a sustainable basis security to the nation of Iraq and to that region between Iraq and Syria will require the United States to use so many other tools in our arsenal. It will require an effective, inclusive Iraqi government that can unite that country to face the threat that’s posed by ISIL," he said.
"It will require the involvement of other governments in the region that have a blatantly obvious interest in this outcome. It will require the involvement of countries around the world, particularly our Western allies that also have an incentive to confront that threat that’s posed by ISIL."
Earnest reiterated that President Barack Obama has made no decision about military action in Syria.
He also refrained from responding to questions about Obama's permission to fly surveillance drones over Syria as being reported by multiple media outlets.
The Pentagon too did not respond to questions. "This is a serious threat from a serious group of terrorists. We need to stay mindful of doing what we need to do to protect American citizens at home and abroad," Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.
"We are not going to hold ourselves to geographic boundaries in order to accomplish that job. So without getting into international law, I can tell you, we'll do what we need to do to protect Americans," he said.
The Pentagon, he said, has been watching ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) for many months now.
"We recognize their development, their growth, the increase in their capabilities, it hasn't happened overnight, and it has happened regionally, that they operate pretty much freely between Iraq and Syria," he said.
"We're gaining better knowledge in Iraq because we have been flying more surveillance flights over the country since we were asked by the Iraqi government to do so and because we're in better and more frequent contact now with Iraqi and Kurdish forces. So I think there's a growing sense of knowledge there on the Iraqi side, but it's mixed," he said.
The US would not take permission from Syria for any action if the lives of American are at stake, the US State Department said.
"One of the considerations is certainly the safety and security of the American people, and our view of threats facing our homeland and Western interests," State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.
"When it comes to the interests of the American people, the interests of the United States, we’re not going to ask for permission from the Syrian regime," he said, adding that "there isn't a decision that's been made."

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