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Aug 31, 2014

Libyan armed faction takes over U.S. embassy annex in Tripoli

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Members of a Libyan militia have taken over an annex of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli but have not broken into the main compound where the United States evacuated all of its staff last month, U.S. officials said on Sunday.

A YouTube video showed the breach of the vacated diplomatic facility by an armed group from the northwestern city of Misrata, with dozens of fighters seen crowding around a swimming pool and some diving in from the balcony of a nearby building.

Aug 31, 2014

U.S. planes strike militants near Iraq’s Amreli, airdrop aid

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States carried out air strikes on Saturday against Islamic State fighters near the besieged Shi’ite town of Amerli in northern Iraq and airdropped humanitarian aid to civilians trapped there, the Pentagon said.

President Barack Obama authorized the new military action, broadening U.S. operations in Iraq amid an international outcry over the threat to Amerli’s mostly ethnic Turkmen population.

Aug 31, 2014

U.S. planes strike militants, drop aid near Iraq’s Amerli

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States carried out air strikes on Saturday against Islamic State fighters near the besieged Shi’ite town of Amerli in northern Iraq and airdropped humanitarian aid to civilians trapped there, the Pentagon said.

President Barack Obama authorized the new military action, broadening U.S. operations in Iraq amid an international outcry over the threat to Amerli’s mostly ethnic Turkmen population.

Aug 28, 2014

U.S. air strikes on Syria would face formidable obstacles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American forces face formidable challenges as President Barack Obama considers an air assault on Islamist fighters in Syria, including intelligence gaps on potential targets, concerns about Syria’s air defenses and fears that the militants may have anti-aircraft weapons, current and former U.S. officials say.

The Pentagon began preparing options for an assault on Islamic State fighters after the militants last week posted a gruesome video showing the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley. Deliberations by Obama’s national security team on expanding the campaign against Islamic State from Iraq into neighboring Syria gathered pace in recent days, officials say.

Aug 8, 2014

Obama faces doubts U.S. intervention can turn tide in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even as warplanes dropped the first U.S. bombs on Islamic militant targets in northern Iraq, President Barack Obama faced doubts inside his administration and out that the limited mission he circumscribed was enough to shift the balance in a conflict threatening to tear Iraq apart.

Backed into a corner after months of steadfastly avoiding direct U.S. military action in the Iraq crisis, Obama has reluctantly ordered intervention in a country that Americans thought they had left behind long ago.

Aug 8, 2014

U.S. starts aid airdrops in Iraq but no strikes yet

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON, Aug 8 (Reuters) – The United States
began to drop relief supplies to beleaguered Yazidi refugees
fleeing Islamist militants in Iraq, but there was no immediate
sign on Friday of U.S. air strikes to halt the sweeping advance
of Islamic State fighters.

President Barack Obama said he had authorised limited
bombing to prevent “genocide” and blunt the onslaught of Sunni
radicals who have captured swathes of northern Iraq and advanced
to a half hour drive from the Kurdish regional capital, Arbil.

Aug 8, 2014

Obama authorizes limited air strikes against militants in Iraq

WASHINGTON/ARBIL, Iraq, Aug 7 (Reuters) – President Barack
Obama said on Thursday he had authorized U.S. air strikes to
blunt the onslaught of Islamist militants in northern Iraq and
began airdrops of supplies to besieged religious minorities to
prevent a “potential act of genocide.”

Obama, in his most significant response yet to the crisis,
said he approved “targeted” use of air power to protect U.S.
personnel if Islamic State militants advance further toward
Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish semi-autonomous region in
northern Iraq, or threaten Americans anywhere in the country.

Aug 8, 2014

Obama authorizes limited air strikes in Iraq if needed

WASHINGTON/ARBIL Iraq (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday he had authorized limited U.S. airstrikes to blunt the onslaught of Islamic militants in northern Iraq and began military airdrops of humanitarian supplies to besieged religious minorities to prevent a “potential act of genocide.”

Speaking after meetings with his national security team, Obama – in his most significant response to the Iraq crisis – said he approved “targeted” use of air power to protect U.S. personnel if Islamic State militants advance further toward the Kurdish capital Arbil or threaten Americans anywhere in the country.

Aug 7, 2014

Obama backs Mideast truce efforts, seeks easing of Gaza isolation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday backed Egyptian efforts to broker a durable Israel-Hamas ceasefire in Gaza but also called for a longer-term solution that provides for Israeli security while offering Gaza residents hope they will not remain “permanently closed off from the world.”

Obama said the short-term U.S. goal is to make sure that a 72-hour truce holds and is extended beyond its Friday deadline, including the cessation of cross-border rocket fire by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Jul 20, 2014

U.S. presses case against Russia on downed jet as horror deepens

HRABOVE Ukraine/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry laid out what he called overwhelming evidence of Russian complicity in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 as international horror deepened over the fate of the victims’ remains.

Kerry demanded that Moscow take responsibility for actions of pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine whom Washington suspects of downing the jet with a missile, and expressed disgust at their “grotesque” mishandling of the bodies.

    • About Matt

      "White House correspondent who has covered news on four continents for Reuters, from Latin American coups and drug wars to the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles to the Balkans conflict to the second Palestinian Intifada to the Iraq war. He has covered George W. Bush and is now covering President Barack Obama."
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