- Posted August 13, 2014 by
Meanwhile, back in Iraq
United States sends another 130 military personnel to Iraq:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration has sent about 130 additional military personnel to Iraq, U.S Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Tuesday, as Washington seeks to help Iraq contain the threat posed by hardline militants from the Islamic State.
Hagel, speaking to troops in California, said the soldiers had arrived in the area around Iraqi Kurdistan's capital, Arbil, earlier in the day on Tuesday.
A U.S. defence official, in a statement issued as Hagel was speaking, said the soldiers sent to northern Iraq would "assess the scope of the humanitarian mission and develop additional humanitarian assistance options beyond the current airdrop effort in support of displaced Iraqi civilians trapped on Sinjar Mountain by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant."
(Reporting By Missy Ryan; Editing by Sandra Maler)
Militants push closer to Baghdad as White House mulls possible response
Al Qaeda-inspired militants pushed into a province northeast of Baghdad Friday, capturing two towns there after having already toppled cities in the country’s north, as the Obama administration considered possible responses to the crisis.
Police officials said militants driving in machinegun-mounted pickups entered two towns in Diyala province late Thursday -- Jalula, 80 miles northeast of Baghdad, and Sadiyah, 60 miles north of the Iraqi capital.
Iraqi soldiers abandoned their posts there without any resistance, the officials told The Associated Press.
‘Taking a nap’: Obama team accused of underestimating Iraq unrest
The Obama administration's apparent miscalculation of the threat posed by Al Qaeda-aligned militants in Iraq drew severe criticism Thursday from top Republican lawmakers, who accused President Obama and his national security team of "taking a nap," warning "the next 9/11 is in the making."
Amid criticism from lawmakers, the White House appeared to open the door to the possibility of U.S. airstrikes, but stressed that sending American ground troops is not an option.
"We are not contemplating ground troops," Press Secretary Jay Carney said. "We are assessing what we can provide additionally."
The administration once again appears to have been caught off guard by an explosion of violence in a country U.S. forces helped liberate from a dictator. Al Qaeda-aligned Sunni militants were advancing south and threatening to move on Baghdad on Thursday after overrunning the northern Iraq cities of Mosul and Tikrit -- with Iraqi government forces in rapid retreat.
Will the same story unfold as we leave Afghanistan?
President Obama's Middle East Policies have made the region a ' Cup of Trembling'
Is anyone surprised by these recent events?
Obama seems to be