Obama mulls military strikes to aid trapped Iraqis

by The Daily Lede

Barack Obama

An administration official speaking under the condition of anonymity has informed the Washington Post that President Obama is considering airstrikes or airdrops of food and medicine to address a humanitarian crisis in Iraq.  As many as 40,000 religious minorities in Iraq are trapped and dying of heat and thirst on a mountaintop after being threatened by IS militants.

In a series of meetings Thursday with his national security team, President Obama considered a range of options from dropping humanitarian supplies on Mt Sinjar to military strikes on IS militants based at the foot of the mountain.

The White House has said previously that it would not intervene militarily until Prime Minister Maliki had stepped down, but the current crisis on Mt Sinjar has become a significant turning point as some 40 children have already died from heat and dehydration, and more than 40,000 people have been cut off from food, water, or access to supplies.

One official said that any military action would be “limited, specific and achievable.”