WASHINGTON, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Amid concern over a militant group's advancement toward Iraqi capital, a senior U.S. army official on Wednesday noted that the U.S. Air Force is fully engaged in planning efforts to provide options for the situation in Iraq and is ready to provide its capabilities if necessary
U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James acknowledged in a statement the importance of the situation in Iraq, saying "it is certainly a very serious and fluid situation."
"Our top leaders from the President to the defense secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff -- everybody is very, very focused on this," the Air Force's top official said.
U.S. President Barack Obama, she said, has asked his national security team to provide options, including military options, for the situation.
"Military planners, of course, are always planning for a variety of contingencies," James said, "so that planning is ongoing."
Assets in the Middle East, she said, include F-15E Strike Eagle and F-22 Raptor fighter jets; KC-135 Stratotanker air refuelers; A- 10 Thunderbolt II attack jets; B-1 Lancer bombers; and unmanned aerial systems.
"So we have a variety of assets already over there in the regular order," James said. "The Air Force is fully engaged in the planning efforts, and we are standing by with our sister services. ... But, of course, no decisions have been made."
The ongoing situation in Iraq is an important military situation, but that it has other ramifications, she said, adding that "the President is trying to bring in all of those factors to make a decision."