The Obama administration is considering an air assault on Islamic extremists taking control of areas throughout Syria and Iraq.
The Guardian reports:
The White House was on Friday “urgently and expediently” considering military options to halt the rapid advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis), according to an administration official, as the jihadist army’s march from Syria through Sunni Iraq has upended President Obama’s achievement of extricating the US military from the Iraq conflict.
Obama has ruled out sending US soldiers and marines back to the Iraqi streets they patrolled from 2003 to 2011, but signalled a new openness to returning the US to war in Iraq, saying Thursday that there are “some short-term, immediate things that need to be done militarily”.
Officials stressed on Friday that no decision has been reached but pointed to a sense of urgency owing to the speed and potency of the Isis assault; the collapse of the Iraqi army in Mosul; and the corresponding threat to the viability of the Iraqi government.
Options under discussion include an air campaign, using either or both air force or navy warplanes, the potential duration of which has yet to be determined. Drone strikes remain under consideration, but manned aircraft are said to the preferred option, owing to their superiority against moving and manoeuvrable targets.
Read more here.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.