US President Barack Obama is considering military action to help stranded Yazidi Kurds in Iraq who fled territories captured by Islamic State militants.
On Thursday, President Obama assembled members of his national security team to discuss the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in regions of Iraq captured by the Islamic State (IS). The US is considering airdrops of humanitarian assistance supplies to Yazidis trapped at the top of Mount Sinjar, as well as airstrikes and other "military options," according to CNN. The Wall Street Journal reported that US aircraft might fly to Iraq to deliver humanitarian aid as soon as Thursday night.
An administration official told The New York Times that “the president is weighing both passive and active options.” Dropping humanitarian supplies is considered passive action. "More active, we could target the [IS] elements that are besieging the base of the mountain," the official added.
CNN also reported that the Obama administration is considering airstrikes against IS strongholds. However, the White House would not reveal its strategy on Thursday.
“The United States government, as well as the United States military, is supporting the ongoing efforts of Iraqi official and Kurdish officials to address this humanitarian crisis,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday, without elaborating on what "support" currently means.
Earnest added that American military action would not solve Iraq's myriad of "problems."
"Those solutions are only going to come about through" Iraqi political maneuvers, he said.
Media reports have surfaced claiming that US fighter jets have already carried out airstrikes in Iraq. However, the Pentagon was quick to deny those reports.
“Press reports that U.S. has conducted airstrikes in Iraq completely false,” Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a post on his Twitter account. “No such action taken.”