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Obama Sends Word to Congress About New Iraq Airstrikes

Posted on Sep 1, 2014

President Obama carried out some official business on Labor Day, giving Congress a heads-up Monday about a new round of airstrikes in Iraq he had previously approved.

More specifically, Obama’s latest War Powers Resolution update included details about what he couched as an international effort to assist a town south of Kirkuk called Amirli, according to McClatchy (via the Miami Herald):

In his latest War Powers Resolution sent to Congress, President Barack Obama said he had authorized U.S. Armed Forces to conduct targeted airstrikes in support of an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance to the town of Amirli, where thousands of Shia Turkomen have been cut off from receiving food, water, and medical supplies for two months by the Islamic State.

The U.S. Air Force delivered aid to the town, alongside aircraft from Australia, France and the United Kingdom, which also dropped supplies.

In a longer report posted Sunday, McClatchy’s Mitchell Prothero noted that the operation signaled “a major expansion” of U.S. military activity in the region:

American forces have conducted over 100 airstrikes in support of nearby Kurdish forces battling the well-trained and well-equipped Islamic State fighters. Previous operations had focused on protecting the Kurdish capital of Irbil, as well as supporting an operation earlier this month to help Kurdish and Iraqi forces retake Iraq’s largest dam.

[...] Pentagon officials stressed that the expansion of the mission in Iraq to Amirli would be limited to aiding that area and does not reflect a change in what President Barack Obama described last week _ and for which he was criticized _ as a lack of a comprehensive strategy for dealing with the Islamic State.

Read Obama’s memo to Congress here.

The president also talked minimum wage issues as part of his Labor Day-themed weekly address. See what he had to say in the video below:

—Posted by Kasia Anderson



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