U.S .Botches Iraq Expectations: Says Air Strike Alone Will Not Crush IS Advance
By Kalyan Kumar | August 13, 2014 3:15 PM EST
Despite the airstrikes in Iraq, the U.S. has sounded its anxiety that it cannot stop the advances of Islamic Sunni force, IS in Iraq. The Christian Science Monitor quoted a Pentagon official saying that U.S. operations are "limited in scope to protect US citizens and facilities" in Erbil and it is "unlikely to affect" the Islamic State (IS) advances in other parts of Iraq.
A Christian woman, who fled from the violence in Mosul two days ago, holds her daughter as her baby sleeps at a school in Arbil, in Iraq's Kurdistan region June 27, 2014.
So far the U.S. military has carried out some 15 airstrikes. U.S. President Barack Obama ordered airstrikes with the goal to halt the slaughter of a minority religious group Yazidis. About 40, 000 Yazidis are now trapped on the Sinjar mountains near the Syrian border after fleeing the IS forces who killed hundreds of them.
The U.S. also offered humanitarian air drops to the thousands of distressed Iraqi civilians trapped on the mountain without food or water and were facing almost certain death.
Lt. Gen. William Mayville, director of the Pentagon's operations, in a briefing with reporters on Monday, said the U.S. military officials were "very concerned" about the threat posed by IS in the region.
The Islamic State now controls some of the largest cities in Iraq and has a solid base in war-torn Syria. He described the IS as well organised, well equipped and capable of attacking on multiple fronts.
The U.S. military officials are very concerned about the Islamist group's goal to grab more territory throughout Iraq.
Arms to Kurds
To supplement the limited gains from air strikes and reinforce the ground level resistance to IS, the United States on Monday, declared that it will supply weapons to the Iraqi Kurdish forces.
Announcing this, the State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters that the Kurds will be supplied arms. The Iraq government delivered a plane load of arms to Kurds last week. She said the U.S. will be working in tandem with all the relevant parties in supplying more arms to Kurds.
UK Offers Tornado Jets
Britain air-dropped dropped thousands of reusable water containers and hundreds of solar lanterns at the mountains. The lanterns will help in charging mobile phones and the affected will be able to communicate with the rescue teams.
The UK stepped also offered to deploy RAF Tornado jets to provide surveillance in northern Iraq. But it ruled out any joint military operations against IS at the moment.
According to a report in The Guardian, Philip Hammond, foreign secretary of the UK, said Britain was more concerned with humanitarian support. But the Downing Street spokesman indicated that Britain is open to arming the Kurdish forces.
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