The White House dodged questions Thursday on whether President Obama would seek congressional approval to launch airstrikes against Iraq in response to a surge of sectarian violence.

“We would have to get back to you on how that would proceed if that decision were made,” press secretary Jay Carney said.

Last year, the president said the nation would be “stronger” if Congress authorized air strikes against the Syrian regime in its ongoing civil war, though the situation de-escalated when Syrian leader Bashar Assad agreed to give up his chemical weapons.

“While I believe I have the authority to carry out this action without specific congressional authorization, our country will be stronger if we take this course,” Obama said at the time. “We should have this debate because the issues are too big for business as usual.”

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