Yesterday, in reaction to a growing humanitarian crisis in Iraq as well as the threat that the terrorist army of the Islamic State and the Levant (ISIL) would soon attack the Northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Irbil, President Obama authorized both humanitarian aid and airstrikes.
Humanitarian airdrops of supplies have already occurred and this morning he followed through with the airstrike portion.
As background, Irbil is considered by many to be the oldest currently inhabited city in the world and, like the rest of Kurdistan, is largely peaceful and developed. Here’s a photo of downtown Irbil.
This morning, according to circa, airstrikes were carried out when,
two U.S. Navy FA-18s dropped two bombs on ISIL artillery used against Kurdish forces located outside Erbil and near U.S. forces. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. will attack ISIL when it threatens U.S. personnel or facilities.
The President has also insisted that despite authorizing limited airstrikes, the U.S. won’t be getting involved in another protracted war in Iraq. But to some, the current airstrikes are late in arriving.
This was the word last night even as I was complaining on Twitter about Obama providing ISIL with the terms under which airstrikes would be launched.
This morning he’s acted quickly although it’s unclear if the strikes were launched because ISIL moved on Erbil or because the U.S. felt they were definitely about to.
Thousands of minorities including Iraqi Christians have been displaced by the fighting as ISIL demands a tax from those “of the book,” Christians specifically, or face death. Those not of “of the book” are simply being killed as devil worshipers. Kurdish forces are currently working to create a refugee path into Irbil for minorities outside the city to use to escape ISIL.