(CNN) – The United States is considering air strikes in Iraq in response to movements by ISIS, a U.S. official told CNN.
Iraq’s largest Christian town has been overrun by the same militant Islamists who gained ground in Syria and western and northern Iraq.
The advance by ISIS has caused thousands of Christians in the city to flee.
One of the group’s latest videos shows a Christian man forced to his knees, surrounded by masked militants.
They force him at gunpoint to “convert” to Islam before beheading him.
The United States is considering emergency air drops to help thousands of Yazidis, who are stranded because of the group.
Yazidis are of Kurdish descent and their religion is considered a pre-Islamic sect that draws from Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism.
Asked about the possibility of airstrikes, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said he was “not in a position to rule things on the table or off the table.”
He added that “there are no American military solutions to the problems in Iraq. We can’t solve these problems for them.”
Earnest says President Obama has “demonstrated his clear willingness to take the kind of military action that’s required to protect core American interests.”
However, any military action would not include boots on the ground.