The militants told its residents to leave, convert or die, which sent tens of thousands of civilians and Kurdish fighters fleeing from the area, according to several priests in northern Iraq. Last week, IS also seized the northwestern town of Sinjar, forcing tens of thousands of people from the ancient Yazidi minority to flee into the mountains and the Kurdish region. According to the U.N., between 35,000 and 50,000 fled to nearby Mount Sinjar and other areas, “reportedly surrounded by ISIS armed elements” and lacking water and other aid. Earlier Thursday, the White House stopped short of committing America’s military to stopping a potential “genocide” in Iraq, declining to say whether doing so is in “America’s core interests.” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest acknowledged the situation is nearing a “humanitarian catastrophe” and said Obama has demonstrated a willingness to use military force to protect America’s core interests. But when asked repeatedly by Fox News whether preventing a genocide counts as being in America’s core interests, Earnest did not answer directly. Asked the same question twice more, Earnest responded that “each of these situations is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.” However, Obama later made clear in his remarks that the decision to authorize strikes is based in part on hoping to prevent a possible genocide. Earnest and other administration officials nevertheless argue there is no American military solution to Iraq’s problems and the country must seek a political solution. The administration, along with the United Nations, is facing increasing pressure to get more involved to prevent the crisis from worsening. The U.N. Security Council on Thursday condemned browse the attacks on minorities in Iraq and urged international support for the Iraqi government.
Obama shakes up debate over the future of the Internet – Yahoo News
Two Republican senators — John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — issued a joint statement saying that the plans Obama discussed are fine, but do not go far enough to meet the “expansionist” threat posed by the rebels known as ISIS. “The President needs to devise a comprehensive strategy to degrade” the militant army, they said. “This should include the provision of military and other assistance to our Kurdish, Iraqi, and Syrian partners who are fighting ISIS.” Reports from the region also indicated that the militants may have seized Mosul Dam, a massive hydroelectric structure that would give the rebels control of resources and the ability to flood a wide swath of territory. The Associated Press said the reports were based on residents who live near the dam who asked not to be named. The militants were also fighting in an effort to seize the Haditha dam in the west. The two facilities would allow rebels to control water flowing south in the Tigris and Euphrates and much of the power supply for Baghdad.
Obama approves humanitarian aid to besieged Iraqis; reportedly considering airstrikes – Yahoo News
“F-16s first entered Iraqi airspace on a reconnaissance mission and are now targeting Daash (ISIL) in Gwer and in the Sinjar region,” Holgard Hekmat told AFP. The New York Times, citing a Kurdish television report , said the U.S. military had bombed at least two targets in northern Iraq, where insurgents had isolated tens of thousands of religious minorities. A McClatchy news report cited a resident in Kalak who said she saw aircraft overhead, and heard explosions coming from behind ISIL lines. Rear Admiral John Kirby quickly used the social media site Twitter to deny the claims. Press reports that US has conducted airstrikes in Iraq completely false.
Obama interrupting summer vacation with trip to DC – Yahoo News
Obama also pressed on with Martha’s Vineyard vacations in 2010 as rebels in Libya were on the verge of ousting their government, and last year when Egypt’s military overthrew the country’s first democratically elected leader. Just last month, Obama resisted calls while he was on a fundraising trip in Texas to visit the U.S.-Mexico border so he could witness the surge of unaccompanied children arriving there. Pressed about the appearance of ignoring a humanitarian crisis, Earnest declared at the time: “We’re not worried about those optics.” Obama has upended his travel plans on several occasions. He has canceled three trips to Asia, including one in 2013 because of the U.S. government shutdown. His late-December departures to spend Christmas in Hawaii frequently have been delayed because of late action on Capitol Hill.
Obama authorizes airstrikes in Iraq to stop genocide |
A link has been sent. Done Content preferences Done President Obama shook up the debate over the future of the Internet this week, when he raised some net neutrality concerns in response to a question at the U.S. Africa Business forum this week. His comments put his position at odds with the Federal Communications Commission’s proposal, which would open the door to allowing Internet providers to offer content companies so-called “fast-lane” access. “One of the issues around net neutrality is whether you are creating different rates or charges for different content providers,” Obama said. “Thats the big controversy here.