Jun 17, 2014
By Jane Brown
Close to 300 U.S. armed forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to help secure American assets. U.S. President Barack Obama is said to be nearing a decision on such options as airstrikes for combating fast-moving Islamic insurgents who are gaining more ground.
Security officials say fighters with I-SIS shot down an army helicopter west of Baghdad, killing the two man crew. The al-Qaida-inspired organization I-SIS is threatening the Iraqi capital, after overunning the cities of Tal Afar, Fallujah, Mosul and Tikrit. I-SIS is trying to link the territory it controls on either side of the Iraq-Syria border.
This conflict is making for a potentially strange partnership. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the White House is willing to talk with Iran, as both nations seek ways to stop the insurgents. “Let’s see what Iran might or might not be willing to do before we start making any pronouncements,” Kerry cautioned.
The U.S. has held initial talks with Iran on how the longtime foes might co-operate to take on the militants.
For Canada’s part, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said this nation won’t offer military help to counter the insurgency. However, Baird said Ottawa is committed to working with the Iraqi leadership.