News: Iraq Crisis (Latest Updates)

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Pope Francis Expresses Outrage On Iraq Violence, Calls For World To 'Stop These Crimes'

Fox News Latino | foxnews.com

Pope Francis on Sunday expressed outrage at violence aimed at religious minorities in Iraq, where fleeing children have died of thirst, and called on the world "to stop these crimes."

In a strongly worded message during his traditional Sunday blessing, Francis said the news from Iraq "leaves us in dismay and disbelief." He cited "the thousands of people, including Christians, who have been brutally forced from their homes, children who have died from thirst during the escape and women who have been seized." Read more...

Islamic State kills at least 500 from Iraq's Yazidi minority - Baghdad

Ahmed Rasheed | reuters.com

Islamic State militants have killed at least 500 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority, burying some alive and taking hundreds of women as slaves, an Iraqi government minister told Reuters on Sunday.

Human rights minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani accused the Sunni Muslim insurgents - who have ordered the community they regard as "devil worshippers" to convert to Islam or die - of celebrating a "a vicious atrocity" with cheers and weapons waved in the air. No independent confirmation was available. Read more...

Race to save the Iraqis of Sinjar

AFP | theaustralian.com.au

US jets attacked jihadists who have besieged civilians on an Iraqi mountain for a week, as France and Britain joined a desperate race to save them from starvation yesterday.

Two days after Washington deployed its air force over Iraq, a co-ordinated Western aid effort was shaping up to avert what US President Barack Obama warned could be an impending genocide. Read more...


Obama vows to continue Iraq air strikes ´if necessary´

thenews.com.pk

President Barack Obama on Saturday vowed to continue air strikes against militants in Iraq if needed to protect US diplomats and military advisors.

Speaking in his weekly address, Obama said that he had authorized the strikes in Iraq to protect US personnel serving in the northern city of Arbil.

"And, if necessary, that´s what we will continue to do," he said.The president was due to speak about the situation once again during an address at 10:25 am (1425 GMT) on the South Lawn of the White House before he leaves for his summer vacation at Martha´s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Read more...

Iraq Arms Kurds Against ISIS

Reuters | By Missy Ryan | huffingtonpost.com

The Iraqi government provided a planeload of ammunition to Peshmerga fighters from Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region on Friday, a U.S. official said, in an unprecedented act of military cooperation between Kurdish and Iraqi forces brought on by an acute militant threat.

The official said Iraqi security forces flew a C-130 cargo plane loaded with mostly small-arms ammunition to Arbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, in a move that American officials hope will help the region's Peshmerga fighters keep militants from the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot, at bay.

"This is unprecedented," the official said on condition of anonymity. Read more...


U.S. launches first airstrikes in Iraq; takes out ISIS artillery
Lolita C. Baldor The / Associated Press | thestar.com

U.S. fighters dropped bombs on Islamic militants in Iraq Friday, the Pentagon said, redeeming President Barack Obama’s promise of military force to counter the advancing militants and confront the threat they pose to Iraqi civilians and Americans.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that two F/A-18 jets dropped 227 kg bombs on a piece of artillery and the truck towing it. Read more...

President Obama's full statement on the Iraq crisis
vox.com


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. Read more...

Here's What You Need To Know About The US Intervention In Iraq

Eyder Peralta | npr.org

Hours after President Obama authorized the use of force in Iraq, U.S. aircraft conducted a strike against Sunni militants near Irbil on Friday.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby that the U.S. hit artillery that was being used against Kurdish forces near U.S. personnel.

On Thursday, Obama . This is significant because this is the first intervention of its kind since U.S. troops left Iraq at the end of 2011. Read more...


US military planes drop relief supplies in Iraq

channelnewsasia.com

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. Read more...

Obama authorizes limited airstrikes in Iraq: 'We cannot turn a blind eye'

Susan Crabtree | washingtonexaminer.com

Arguing that the U.S. could not ignore the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, President Obama Thursday night announced that he had authorized limited air strikes, one of the boldest military moves of his presidency.

The decision marks a reversal of Obama's long-stated goal of ending U.S. military intervention in Iraq, as well as his current, more supervisory approach to the violent turmoil in the country prompted by Islamic insurgents' siege of large swaths of the country.

Speaking about the continued necessity for American leadership in the world under specific scenarios, he said ISIS threats of genocide against ethnic and religious minorities trapped on a mountain in Iraq and threats to U.S. troops and personnel in the region spurred him to act. Read more...

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