"I'm preparing the country to make sure that we deal with a threat from ISIL," Xinhua quoted the president as saying on NBC's "Meet the Press" programme aired Sunday, using another acronym for the radical group.
"This is not going to be an announcement about US ground troops," he added.
The Obama administration on Friday said it had built a "core coalition" to combat the IS in Iraq, whose fighters had seized vast swaths of territory in northern Iraq since June and announced the establishment of a caliphate in areas under its control in both Syria and Iraq.
Obama: This is not going to be an announcement about US ground troops
Obama came under immediate attacks after acknowledging late last month that he did not have a strategy yet for dealing with the rampaging militants.
US warplanes have bombed targets of the Islamic State in northern Iraq since Aug 8, and Obama approved surveillance flights over war-torn Syria in late August.
US military personnel have been sent into Iraq in batches since June to assess the threat posed by the IS.