The US began air strikes against the Islamic State to prevent ‘genocide’
On Thursday, US President Barack Obama authorised limited air strikes against fighters of the Islamic State group as they make more territorial gains. Obama insisted he would not commit ground forces, saying he had no intention of letting the United States “get dragged into fighting another war in Iraq”.
Secretary of State John Kerry said a campaign by the IS fighters in Iraq bore the signs of genocide and the stakes for the country could not be more clear.
US officials also announced an acceleration of military supplies to the Kurdish regional government, whose Peshmerga forces have been routed by the IS as they seized control of a dozen towns and the country’s biggest dam in the last week.
The US Defense Department said planes dropped 72 bundles of supplies, including 8,000 ready-to-eat meals and thousands of gallons of drinking water, for civilians forced out of their homes by the fighting.
But will the US involvement help or worsen the crisis?
Presenter: Sami Zeidan
James Jeffrey: Visiting Fellow from The Washington Institute. Jeffrey is also a former assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration.
Matthew Henman: Head of the IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, JTIC
Aram Shakaram: Director of programmes for Save the Children in Iraq.