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Obama Weighs Military Strikes to Aid Trapped Iraqis, Officials Say

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HELENE COOPER
New York Times
August 7, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Obama is considering airstrikes or airdrops of food and medicine to address a humanitarian crisis among as many as 40,000 religious minorities in Iraq who have been dying of heat and thirst on a mountaintdop after death threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, administration officials said on Thursday.

The president, in meetings with his national security team at the White House on Thursday morning, has been weighing a series of options ranging from dropping humanitarian supplies on Mount Sinjar to military strikes on the fighters from ISIS now at the base of the mountain, a senior administration official said.

“There could be a humanitarian catastrophe there,” a second administration official said, adding that a decision from Mr. Obama was expected “imminently — this could be a fast-moving train.”

The administration had been delaying taking any military action against ISIS until there is a new Iraqi government; both White House and Pentagon officials have said privately that the United States would not intervene militarily until Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki stepped down.

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This article was posted: Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 11:28 am





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