Sunday, August 10, 2014

Middle East: President Obama, Who Always "Knows Best," May End Up with a Regional War After All

According to AFP, Iraq's most prominent Christian cleric voiced his disappointment Sunday (August 10) at the scope of US intervention, which he said offered little hope that jihadists would be defeated and that displaced people could go home.

"The position of US President Obama to only to provide military assistance to protect Arbil is disappointing," Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako wrote in an open letter.
US President Barack Obama on Thursday (August 7) announced he had authorized air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq to protect US personnel in the Kurdish capital Arbil and avert a genocide against the Yazidis in the Sinjar region.

Three days of strikes appeared to have yielded some results, with Kurdish troops reclaiming towns southwest of Arbil they had lost days earlier and some of the thousands of Yazidis who had been trapped on a mountain managing to escape.

COMMENT: Obama has stressed that the strikes would be limited, and Sako argued that may not be enough to wrestle back the main northern city of Mosul from the jihadists.

The patriarch described the prospect of having to wait for Iraqi government forces to start fighting alongside the peshmerga as "very depressing."

"While the country is under fire, the politicians in Baghdad are fighting for power," Sako said.

On Sunday, Parliament adjourned for nine days, despite ever-increasing international and domestic pressure to agree on a nominee for the post of prime minister.

Obama and other world leaders have argued that forming a new, inclusive government was a prerequisite for any effective military counter-offensive. Unfortunately, that could take weeks if not months, potentially causing Iraq to be swallowed up by the brutal militants.

According to several aid groups, the number of people fleeing over the past week of fighting alone has topped 200,000.

Among them were all the residents of Iraq's largest Christian town of Qaraqosh and its surrounding areas.