BEDFORD, Va. -

The Congressman who represents Roanoke and Lynchburg is sharing his thoughts on the crisis in Iraq.

Sixth District Representative Bob Goodlatte says Iraqis need to stand up and fight for their own country.  He shared his views with reporters following an event Monday afternoon with the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce.

An al-Qaida breakaway group has taken control of cities in northern Iraq over the past few weeks, sending the region into chaos.

Goodlatte says the United States should offer air support to assist Iraq's government, but he thinks the Iraqis themselves need to defend their country on the ground

"It's got to be stopped, primarily by the Iraqis who have far greater resources, but have got to show the determination and courage," Goodlatte said.

Goodlatte says U.S. forces should only be used on the ground in Iraq to secure the American embassy in that country.

He wants to prevent the diplomatic staff from facing an attack like the one that killed four Americans in Libya in 2012.