Thursday, June 12, 2014

Obama may authorize military action against Sunni Islamic militants in Iraq

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama refused to rule out U.S. action in Iraq against Sunni Islamist militants who have surged out of the north to threaten Baghdad, threatening to divide the country and establish their own jihadist state.
Hours after ethnic Kurdish forces took advantage of the chaos to take control of the oil hub of Kirkuk as the forces of the Shi'ite-led government abandoned their posts, Obama was asked if he might order drone strikes or other action to halt the insurgency that has seized much of northern Iraq this week.
"I don't rule anything out," he told reporters, saying he was looking at all options to help the elected leaders who took full control of Iraq when the U.S. occupation ended in 2011.

He added that the United States had an interest in denying a foothold to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and that Washington was prepared to take military action when its national security interests are threatened.


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