News / Middle East

Obama: 'Range of US Options' on Iraq

Obama Says No US Troops in Iraqi
X
Luis Ramirez
June 13, 2014 11:49 PM
President Barack Obama is monitoring events in Iraq and will decide in the next few days how to help Iraqi forces -- as insurgents of the radical Islamist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, ISIL, seize more of the country. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Obama Says No US Troops in Iraq
VOA News
President Barack Obama says his national security advisers are preparing "a range of options" for U.S. assistance to Iraq's government as it faces an assault by al-Qaida inspired Islamist militants.

Speaking at the White House Friday, President Obama said the course of U.S. action will become clear "in the days ahead." He said no American troops will be sent to Iraq. 

The president said the militants who have overrun parts of Iraq are a threat to the Baghdad government and people throughout the country, and pose an active threat to American interests as well. He said division among Iraq's leadership has led to the current crisis.

"Over the past decade, American troops have made extraordinary sacrifices to give Iraqis an opportunity to claim their own future," Obama said. "Unfortunately, Iraqi leaders have been unable to overcome, too often, the mistrust and sectarian differences that have long been simmering there. And that's created vulnerabilities within the Iraqi government as well as their security forces."

Obama said U.S. assistance to Iraq must be matched with a "serious and sincere" effort by Iraq's leaders to work together and set aside differences, and to improve their security forces. He said in the absence of any type of political effort, short-term military assistance will not succeed.

In a development Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country is ready to help Iraq, if asked, and would consider working with Tehran's longtime foe, the United States in fighting Sunni extremists if Washington decides to take strong action against the fighters.  Iran has developed close ties in recent years with the Shi'ite led government in Baghdad.

In quick strikes this week, militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, took control of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and advanced within 90 kilometers of Baghdad.

Late Thursday, ISIL fighters seized the towns of Jalawla and Saadiyah in the ethnically divided eastern province of Diyala.

A spokesman for the Sunni militants, who wish to install an Islamic government, vowed they would push into Baghdad and on to Karbala, a city southwest of Baghdad that is one of the holiest sites for Shi'ite Muslims.

The forces of Iraq's Shi'ite-led government have seemingly been powerless to stop the advance, often abandoning their posts and fleeing, leaving weapons behind. 

A spokesman for United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said Friday the U.N. is receiving reports suggesting the number of people killed in Iraq in recent days may run into the hundreds, and the number of injured may be approaching 1,000. Pillay's office also said the militants are believed to be hunting down anyone associated with the Iraqi government. 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday said he expects President Obama to decide quickly on what steps the U.S. will take about Iraq.  Speaking during a conference in London, Kerry also said Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki should do more to address the sectarian divide in his country. He said the fighting has served as a "wakeup call" to the Iraqi government.

Prime Minister Maliki this week sought to convene an emergency session of parliament to declare a national state of emergency.  But no quorum could be reached, as many of Iraq's Sunni and Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the session, objecting to handing Maliki, a Shi'ite, increased authority to combat the militants.

You May Like

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
June 14, 2014 10:12 PM
If USA wants a durable peace in Middle East, then do not supply weapons and money to Terrorist Group. ISIL is branch of Al Qaida very well finance and equip by Saudi Arabia. USA must use it influence over SA, not to support Terrorist Group in ME. If there is no support to Terrorist Group then so many innocent peoples in Syria should not be killed in brute way by Al Qaida.

by: Anthonybellchambers from: London
June 14, 2014 5:41 PM

As the rapprochement between the United States and Iran deepens in their mutual support for the the Iraqi government, Israel is left looking isolated, weak and inconsequential.

At a stroke, Netanyahu's influence in Washington has all but disappeared as he becomes a virtual irrelevance in a conflict that is vastly more important to the international community than his illegal settlements. As are also his threats to attack Iran, the most stable state in the Middle East.

The real question, now, is what influence, if any, did the Israeli government have in persuading discredited former US President, George W Bush, to attack Saddam Hussein's Iraq, in 2003 - a move that has now given birth to the dangerous current instability that threatens the entire region - not to mention global oil supplies?

And the second question is: for how much longer will the US congress continue to vote billions of American tax-dollars to a state that is alleged to have been complicit in the Bush-Blair tragic fiasco that is alleged to have cost over 100,000 Iraqi, American and British lives when the so-called coalition of 'shock and awe' went to war without a mandate?
______________________________________________


Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs