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Iraq is under an immediate “terrorist threat,” and the United States must step in and help to find a political solution before the situation deteriorates further, Iraq’s ambassador to the U.S. said on Friday.

Lukman Faily, speaking with MSNBC host Chuck Todd, reaffirmed that Iraq is asking the U.S. for help with counterterrorism intelligence and military training — and to lead air strikes against the insurgency.

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“This is where the United States has experience,” Faily said, “and we can see now they have the will.”

He did not specify, however, whether he thought American troops on the ground would also be necessary.

Iraq appears on the brink of dissolving into a sectarian civil war after Sunni insurgents overran the country’s second-largest city, Mosul, earlier this week. Other towns have fallen to the rebels, as they’ve reportedly vowed to march on Baghdad and dismantle the Shiite-led government.

Faily said the international community needs to be concerned about staving off the growing violence.

“It’s not called an Iraqi uprising, it’s a called a terrorist threat attacking Iraq,” he said, adding the situation is “not just an internal Iraqi dispute.”

Todd pressed Faily about whether the U.S. should have withdrawn troops from the war-torn country at the end of 2011 and whether current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is at least partially to blame for appearing to marginalize Sunnis from the government.

Faily responded that elections in April were fair and the country has a legitimate democracy. The best way to resolve the crisis, he added, will be through talks.

“There is no other way but a political solution,” Faily said.

— Erik Ortiz