Friday, August 8, 2014

President Obama authorises air strikes in Iraq to prevent 'genocide'

President Obama has authorised US air strikes on Iraq and humanitarian supply drops to prevent a "genocide" by Islamist extremists against minority groups.

Mr Obama said "We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide," referring to the attacks against the besieged Yazidi minority.
He said "I therefore authorised targeted air strikes if necessary to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege and protect the civilians trapped there."

President Obama, who did not say whether air strikes have been carried out, said US forces have already started to drop food and water to Iraqis racing to flee the so-called Islamic State fighters.
"Earlier this week, one Iraqi in the area cried to the world, there is no one coming to help. Well, today America is coming to help," Mr Obama said.

"When innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale,  and when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye," he said.

Mr Obama, who rose to political prominence as an outspoken critic of his predecessor George W Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq, said he was not sending back ground forces.
"As commander in chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq.
He said "And so even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there is no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq."


  1. Obama authorizes airstrikes in Iraq if militants advance on Irbil...

    A looming humanitarian catastrophe has pulled the United States deeper into the Iraq conflict, several years after American troops exited a long and painful war there.

    President Barack Obama announced Thursday night that he had authorized airstrikes to protect members of an ancient religious minority group stranded on a mountain, facing starvation and the threat of mass execution.

    Thousands of Yazidis now find themselves trapped by the al-Qaida splinter group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The president announced that a successful aerial drop of humanitarian supplies had already been completed, and airstrikes could follow...............Read more:

  2. Following an emergency meeting held at France’s request, the United Nations Security Council called for urgent international action to support the Iraqi government in fighting Islamic State fighters and delivering aid to displaced civilians....

    The Council strongly condemned attacks by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS or ISIL) and expressed "deep outrage" over the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, many from vulnerable minorities, who have been displaced, said the statement read by Britain’s UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant.

    "The members of the Security Council call on the international community to support the government and people of Iraq and to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering of the population affected by the current conflict in Iraq," said Grant, who is presiding the Council for the month of August.

    "The time has come for the Security Council to take action," said Alexis Lamek, France's deputy permanent representative to the UN. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he added that France "stood ready" to take whatever action was decided by the Council, "in connection with Iraqi authorities."

    "France is very deeply concerned by the latest advances of (ISIS militants) in the north of Iraq and the taking of Qaraqosh, the biggest Christian city in Iraq, as well as by the intolerable abuses that were committed," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement.

    “No air strikes yet”

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Iraqi Ambassador Ali al-Hakim said the meeting focused on the need for urgent relief efforts to help civilians fleeing the violence, but denied reports that air strikes had been carried out against the jihadists.

    "There is no strike being done yet," said Hakim, though he acknowledged that Baghdad and Washington were discussing them.......................

  3. Barack Obama autorizó una serie de ataques aéreos en el norte de Irak...

    Esto rige para el caso de que combatientes del grupo radical Estado Islámico (EI) avancen contra asesores militares estadounidenses en Erbil.

    Se tratará de "operaciones con un objetivo determinado", explicó Obama durante su discurso en la Casa Blanca, según consigna DPA.

    Al mismo tiempo dio luz verde para misiones que arrojen provisiones de ayuda en el norte de Irak. La meta es respaldar a las personas que sufren en esa región durante su huida de las milicias radicales islámicas.

    Aunque no dio detalles, Obama dijo que Estados Unidos está dispuesto a salir en ayuda de las personas amenazadas.

    Cientos de miles de personas huyen en el norte de Irak de los combatientes de EI.

  4. Obama authorizes air strikes in Iraq ...

    (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he has authorized air strikes against Islamist militants in Iraq to protect American personnel and launched humanitarian assistance to prevent a genocide of members of a religious minority who have fled their homes.

    The president, in remarks carried live over network television, said he has begun operations to assist Iraqis stranded on a mountain to escape the advancing forces of the Islamist State, which have swept across northern Iraq in recent weeks.

    "When we face a situation like we do on that mountain, with innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale, when we have a mandate to help in this case a request from the Iraqi government, and when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye," Obama said.

    "We can act carefully and responsibly to prevent a potential act of genocide," he said.

    Obama said he had authorized the U.S. military to take targeted strikes against militants if they advanced toward the Kurdish capital of Arbil or threatened Americans anywhere in the country.

    "We intend to stay vigilant and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate in Arbil and our embassy in Baghdad.” he said.................

  5. UN calls for urgent response to help thousands in northern Iraq displaced by militants’ advance...

    7 August 2014 – As Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists continue to overrun areas of northern Iraq, the United Nations has begun coordinating humanitarian assistance for displaced vulnerable ethnic and religious minorities, while Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on the international community to support Iraq and help the Government alleviate the suffering of all those impacted by the spiralling violence.

    “The Secretary-General is deeply appalled at today’s reports of attacks by the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) in Kirkuk, and Qaraqosh, and earlier attacks in Tal Afar and Sinjar district, affecting mainly the vulnerable communities of Christians, Turkomen, and Yezidis,” said Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York today.

    “Reports of Yezidis amassing along the Turkish border as well as thousands also trapped in the Sinjar Mountains in desperate need of humanitarian assistance are of urgent and grave concern,” it added.

    While the Secretary-General in his statement welcomed the successful humanitarian airdrop that has taken place so far, he expressed his “continuing and deep concern” for the safety of those civilians.

    As such, Mr. Ban called on the international community, “especially those with the influence and resources” to positively impact the situation, to support the Government and people of Iraq and to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering of the population affected by the current conflict in Iraq.

    The UN Security Council condemned the attacks by ISIL and again expressed its “deep outrage” about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis — many of them from vulnerable minority communities, especially Yezidis and Christians — displaced by ISIL’s attacks and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.............................

  6. U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday evening that he has authorized targeted airstrikes and airdrops of aid in Iraq amid a humanitarian crisis....

    Obama said in a speech that he authorized airstrikes "if necessary" against Islamic militants, who have advanced into the Kurdish region of Iraq and seized the country's largest dam Thursday.

    The president also announced that the United States launched airdrops of food and water on a mountain top in northern Iraq on Thursday where a religious minority group remains trapped by Islamic militants.

  7. US military planes flew over northern Iraq on Thursday to drop relief supplies to thousands of civilian refugees fleeing attacks by Sunni extremist militants, the Islamic State, a senior defence official said....

    "The aircraft that dropped the humanitarian supplies have now safely exited the immediate airspace over the drop area," he said, after food and water were delivered to Yazidi families outside Sinjar.

  8. Obama erlaubt gezielte Luftangriffe im Irak...

    US-Lufteinsatz soll nordirakische Stadt Erbil schützen. Die USA haben mit dem Abwurf von Hilfsgütern für Flüchtlinge begonnen.

    US-Präsident Barack Obama hat gezielte Luftangriffe im Irak genehmigt. Dies gelte für den Fall, dass Kämpfer der Terrormiliz Islamischer Staat (IS) in Richtung der nordirakischen Stadt Erbil vorrücken sollten, sagte er in Washington. In Erbil sind US-Militärberater stationiert. Zudem werde man verfolgte Mitglieder religiöser Minderheiten aus der Luft mit Lebensmitteln versorgen, sagte Obama. Eine Entsendung von Kampftruppen in den Irak schloss der US-Präsident jedoch aus.

    Rund 40.000 Angehörige der religiösen Minderheit der Jesiden sind geflüchtet und harren auf einem Berg im Nordirak aus. Der UN- Sicherheitsrat verurteilte in einer Sondersitzung die militärischen Angriffe der IS-Terrorgruppe scharf..................

  9. US military completes drop of food, water over northern Iraq ....

    US military aircraft dropped meals and water for Iraqis threatened by Islamist militants in northern Iraq, a senior US defense official said on Thursday.

    The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the supplies were dropped near Sinjar, an area that some Iraqi minorities call home in the far northwest of the country.

    "The mission was conducted by a number of US military aircraft under the direction of US Central Command. The aircraft that dropped the humanitarian supplies have now safely exited the immediate airspace over the drop area," the official said.

  10. Statement by the President (The White House)...

    THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Today I authorized two operations in Iraq -- targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death. Let me explain the actions we’re taking and why.

    First, I said in June -- as the terrorist group ISIL began an advance across Iraq -- that the United States would be prepared to take targeted military action in Iraq if and when we determined that the situation required it. In recent days, these terrorists have continued to move across Iraq, and have neared the city of Erbil, where American diplomats and civilians serve at our consulate and American military personnel advise Iraqi forces.

    To stop the advance on Erbil, I’ve directed our military to take targeted strikes against ISIL terrorist convoys should they move toward the city. We intend to stay vigilant, and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate in Erbil and our embassy in Baghdad. We’re also providing urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces so they can more effectively wage the fight against ISIL.

    Second, at the request of the Iraqi government -- we’ve begun operations to help save Iraqi civilians stranded on the mountain. As ISIL has marched across Iraq, it has waged a ruthless campaign against innocent Iraqis. And these terrorists have been especially barbaric towards religious minorities, including Christian and Yezidis, a small and ancient religious sect. Countless Iraqis have been displaced. And chilling reports describe ISIL militants rounding up families, conducting mass executions, and enslaving Yezidi women.

    In recent days, Yezidi women, men and children from the area of Sinjar have fled for their lives. And thousands -- perhaps tens of thousands -- are now hiding high up on the mountain, with little but the clothes on their backs. They’re without food, they’re without water. People are starving. And children are dying of thirst. Meanwhile, ISIL forces below have called for the systematic destruction of the entire Yezidi people, which would constitute genocide. So these innocent families are faced with a horrible choice: descend the mountain and be slaughtered, or stay and slowly die of thirst and hunger.

    I’ve said before, the United States cannot and should not intervene every time there’s a crisis in the world. So let me be clear about why we must act, and act now. When we face a situation like we do on that mountain -- with innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale, when we have a mandate to help -- in this case, a request from the Iraqi government -- and when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye. We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide. That’s what we’re doing on that mountain...........................

  11. The Turkish military has denied claims that Turkish aircraft have crossed into Iraqi airspace....

    In a written statement released Thursday evening, the General Staff said: "The allegations that Turkish warplanes conducted flights inside Iraqi airspace on August 7 do not reflect the reality."

    Newspaper reports in Turkey have alleged that Turkish F-16 jets and drones had flown over northern Iraq to track the movement of Islamic State militants................

  12. Media reports that the United States has struck targets in Iraq are not accurate, a Pentagon spokesman said on Thursday, as Islamist militants advanced across northern Iraq....

    "Press reports that U.S. has conducted airstrikes in Iraq completely false," Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a post on his Twitter feed. "No such action taken."

    Kirby's statement came as U.S. officials said that the Obama administration has approved military air drops of humanitarian supplies in northern Iraq and is considering strikes against fighters from the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot.

    Read more:
    (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

  13. The US says it has launched an air strike against militants from the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq....

    The Pentagon said American aircraft attacked artillery that was being used against Kurdish forces defending the northern city of Irbil.

    President Barack Obama authorised air strikes on Thursday, but said he would not send US troops back to Iraq...............


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