Friday, August 8, 2014
The top story in the country today is the renewed U.S. military action in Iraq. President Obama is the 4th straight President to authorize the use of American military force in Iraq. There now has been multiple target strikes around the city of Erbil in northern Iraq. There were 2 separate predator drone strikes on a border position where mortars were being launched as well as a strike from Navy fighter jets using eight 500 pound bombs on a convoy of seven ISUS vehicles. Two U.S. FA-18 fighter jets bombed a piece of ISUS artillery as well as the vehicle that was pulling it. According the the Pentagon, ISUS was using that artillery to shell Kurdish forces that are fighting to protect Irbil, which is the Capital of Kurdistan, now finding itself under seige by ISUS forces.The United States has dropped a second round of aid packages in the Sinjar Mountains where thousand of Yuzidies, a religious minority in Iraq have been without food and water. ISUS had cut the roads off, trying to starve the fleeing civilians to death, and threatening to kill anybody who would come out of the mountain.
It has also been recently reported that hundreds of Yuzidie women have been taken captive by ISUS.
In another news conference, the President stated that he was committed to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which he has done just that. But with the recent problems in Iraq, threatening the Kurds and Yuzidies, the President states that he will not put American troops on the ground. His goal is to help the Kurds defend their territories in Northern Iraq, and to help the desperate Yuzidis in the Sinjar mountains.
The President states that when many innocent people, men women and children are in danger of being wiped out by this terrorist organization, and when we have the power to do something about it, we will take action. He says this is our responsibility as Americans which is a hallmark of American leadership.
America is now helping in Iraq, but what does this really mean? Also, how long are we going to be offering this help? The answers to these two questions are not clear, but one main objective according to the President is to provide help with no American forces on the ground in Iraq. There is also no set end date for the air strikes, as they have been authorized by the President in an open-ended basis.
The march across Iraq had began since January of this year, and now control a wide swath of the country including parts of Syria to the west.
The United States would also use air power to protect Baghdad if ISUS threatened that city, just as the United States defended Irbil.