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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora