Militants eye Baghdad as Iraq Defense claims victory
The militant group ISIS, which stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, promises to take control of more Iraqi cities – including the capital, Baghdad. So far, Iraq’s foreign minister hasn’t called for U.S. troops; there’s still room for the U.S. to help the dire situation. After taking over Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul, the militant group ISIS has its sights set on Baghdad. That’s according to an audio recording posted on the group’s website although CNN cannot independently confirm the identity of the speaker in the message.
“March towards Baghdad, because we have scores to settle there.”
Meanwhile, Iraq’s Defense Ministry is claiming a victory, releasing a video of overnight airstrikes targeting a military base near Mosul, where the militants are believed to be based. The White House says it’s looking at a range of options to stop the terrorist advance in Iraq. Iraq’s foreign minister says those options include training and supplies, but not U.S. troops.
“Nobody has called, let’s say, for the reintroduction of American troops into Iraq, or to have a very pro-active engagement.”
President Obama says that may not be enough.
“I don’t rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure that these Jihadists are not getting a foothold in either Iraq or Syria.”
But a senior administration official says there will be no U.S. boots on the ground; these advances come more than two years after the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. House Speaker Republican John Boehner was quick to criticize the president – saying he’s not doing enough to support the Iraqis.
“Now they’ve taken over Mosul, they’re 100 miles from Baghdad, and what’s the President doing? Taking a nap.”