As its citizens brace for all-out civil war in Iraq, President Obama at noon on Friday updated his administration’s assessment of the highly volatile situation in Iraq by confirming he was not contemplating putting U.S. troops back on the ground in Iraq, but that his national security team is considering various military and political options which could include airstrikes.
The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been increasingly public in its request for additional U.S. assistance in the fight against the Sunni militia known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that has claimed large swaths of territory in the country in recent days.
“We will not be sending US troops back into combat but I have asked my national security team to arrange a number of options,” said Obama on the south lawn of the White House. “I will be reviewing those options in the days ahead.”
According to reporting earlier in the day by the Guardian‘s Spencer Ackerman and Paul Lewis:
In Iraq meanwhile, military units—on both sides of what looks increasingly like a sectarian war drawn along distinct sectarian Sunni and Shiite lines—are reportedly on the move as tensions mount over an assault on Baghdad by ISIL fighters.
According to CNN:
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And as part of its live coverage, The Guardian offered a rundown of recent developments as of early Friday afternoon, including:
Offering contextual background at Vox.com, Zach Beauchamps lists an array of dynamics that help “explain the escalating crisis in Iraq.”
At The Nation, journalist Greg Miller catalogs the troubling landscape of the mainstream and corporate media that is proving itself again incapable of adequately interpreting events in the Middle East as a U.S. president considers military action in Iraq.
And countering the rush to war and the false narrative that it was the withdrawl of U.S. troops in 2011—as opposed to the 2003 invasion launched by Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush—an essay by John Tirnman, who directs the Center for International Studies at MIT, explains how the disaster now unfolding in Iraq is a direct result of the dominant U.S. foreign policy of the modern era in which administrations from both parties have tried to impose their authority or solve complex crises with the same blunt and bloody instrument of armed intervention. When it comes to the new developments in Iraq, writes Tirnman:
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