, Aug 20 (Reuters) – U.S. forces
attempted to rescue journalist James Foley and other American
hostages during a secret mission into Syria and exchanged
gunfire with Islamic State militants only to discover the
captives were not there, officials said on Wednesday.
The mission, authorized by President Barack Obama based on
U.S. intelligence, took place earlier this summer. Officials
disclosed the mission a day after a video surfaced showing a
militant beheading the 40-year-old Foley.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite outrage at home and abroad over the grisly beheading of an American journalist, President Barack Obama is unlikely to deepen military involvement in Iraq or Syria and will instead stay the course with U.S. air strikes, U.S. officials say.
U.S. officials appeared rattled by the video posted on social media on Tuesday showing a masked, black-clad militant executing James Foley, 40, and declaring war against the United States in retaliation for nearly two weeks of U.S. air strikes on jihadist targets in Iraq.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States may accelerate U.S. economic and military aid to Iraq with the end of Nuri al-Maliki’s eight-year reign but will first want proof that the country’s new leaders have abandoned his sectarian ways.
Maliki’s surprise announcement that he would give way to Haider Abadi as Iraq’s prime minister removes the man blamed by Washington for the revival of vicious sectarianism in Iraq and the advance of the Islamic State deep into Iraqi territory.
WASHINGTON/ROME (Reuters) – The United States is asking European countries to supply arms and ammunition to Kurdish forces fighting jihadists of the Islamic State in Iraq, U.S. and European officials said, signaling a widening of the international role in the conflict.
The United States has requested the arms in telephone calls with several European countries, the U.S. officials said, seeking help for Peshmerga fighters of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region who are struggling against better-armed militants of the self-styled Islamic State.
WASHINGTON, Aug 11 (Reuters) – The U.S. government is
directly supplying weapons to Peshmerga fighters from Iraq’s
semiautonomous Kurdish region to help them fight Sunni
militants, in a deepening of America’s military involvement in
Iraq, U.S. officials said on Monday.
The Kurdish fighters are struggling to stem advances by
militants from the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government is directly supplying weapons to Peshmerga fighters from Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish region to help them fight Sunni militants, in a deepening of America’s military involvement in Iraq, U.S. government sources said on Monday.
The weapons shipments to Arbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, come as Kurdish fighters struggle to stem advances by militants from the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot.
WASHINGTON/EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – The United States is exploring options to evacuate thousands of Iraqi civilians trapped on a barren mountain in northern Iraq by Islamic militants, after four nights of humanitarian relief airdrops, U.S. officials said on Sunday.
While the airdrops appear to have provided urgently needed aid, the harsh conditions of the Sinjar mountain range in mid-summer have taken scores of lives among Iraq’s Yazidi minority, who are threatened by hardline militants from the Islamic State.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States conducted a new round of air strikes on Sunday against Islamic State militants in Iraq while congressional Republicans slammed President Barack Obama’s intervention as ineffective and called for more aggressive military steps.
Republican Representative Peter King of New York criticized Obama for insisting he will not send U.S. ground troops to combat Islamic State forces in Iraq, adding that the United States has been too timid in the crisis so far.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Iraqi government provided a planeload of ammunition to Peshmerga fighters from Iraq’s semi autonomous Kurdish region on Friday, a U.S. official said, in an unprecedented act of military cooperation between Kurdish and Iraqi forces brought on by an urgent militant threat.
The official said Iraqi security forces flew a C-130 cargo plane loaded with mostly small-arms ammunition to Arbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, in a bid to strengthen the region’s Peshmerga fighters as they struggle to keep militants from the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot, at bay.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers in Washington welcomed President Barack Obama’s decision to attack advancing Islamist militants in Iraq, but some questioned whether his administration has a long-term strategy to arrest Iraq’s disintegration.
Two U.S. F/A-18 fighter jets dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on Friday on an Islamic State mobile artillery piece used to shell Kurdish forces defending Arbil, the Pentagon said.