An Update on the Situation in Iraq

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 14, 2014
President Obama Addresses the Situation in Iraq, August 14, 2014
Today, President Barack Obama provided an update on the situation in Iraq.  The President said,  "...We continue to make progress in carrying out our targeted military operations in Iraq.  Last week, I authorized two limited missions:  protecting our people and facilities inside of Iraq, and a humanitarian operation to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians stranded on a mountain.
 
"A week ago, we assessed that many thousands of Yezidi men, women and children had abandoned their possessions to take refuge on Mount Sinjar in a desperate attempt to avoid slaughter.  We also knew that ISIL terrorists were killing and enslaving Yezidi civilians in their custody, and laying siege to the mountain. Without food or water, they faced a terrible choice -- starve on the mountain, or be slaughtered on the ground.  That’s when America came to help."
 
President Obama continued:
 
"Over the last week, the U.S. military conducted humanitarian air drops every night –- delivering more than 114,000 meals and 35,000 gallons of fresh water.  We were joined in that effort by the United Kingdom, and other allies pledged support. Our military was able to successfully strike ISIL targets around the mountain, which improved conditions for civilians to evacuate the mountain safely.
 
"Yesterday, a small team of Americans -– military and civilian -– completed their review of the conditions on the mountain.  They found that food and water have been reaching those in need, and that thousands of people have been evacuating safely each and every night.  The civilians who remain continue to leave, aided by Kurdish forces and Yezidis who are helping to facilitate the safe passage of their families.  So the bottom line is, is that the situation on the mountain has greatly improved and Americans should be very proud of our efforts.
 
"Because of the skill and professionalism of our military –- and the generosity of our people –- we broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar; we helped vulnerable people reach safety; and we helped save many innocent lives.  Because of these efforts, we do not expect there to be an additional operation to evacuate people off the mountain, and it’s unlikely that we’re going to need to continue humanitarian air drops on the mountain.  The majority of the military personnel who conducted the assessment will be leaving Iraq in the coming days.  And I just want to say that as Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder of the men and women of our military who carried out this humanitarian operation almost flawlessly.  I’m very grateful to them and I know that those who were trapped on that mountain are extraordinarily grateful as well.
 
"Now, the situation remains dire for Iraqis subjected to ISIL’s terror throughout the country, and this includes minorities like Yezidis and Iraqi Christians; it also includes Sunnis, Shia and Kurds.  We’re going to be working with our international partners to provide humanitarian assistance to those who are suffering in northern Iraq wherever we have capabilities and we can carry out effective missions like the one we carried out on Mount Sinjar without committing combat troops on the ground. 
 
"We obviously feel a great urge to provide some humanitarian relief to the situation and I’ve been very encouraged by the interest of our international partners in helping on these kinds of efforts as well.  We will continue air strikes to protect our people and facilities in Iraq.  We have increased the delivery of military assistance to Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting ISIL on the front lines. 
 
"And, perhaps most importantly, we are urging Iraqis to come together to turn the tide against ISIL –- above all, by seizing the enormous opportunity of forming a new, inclusive government under the leadership of Prime Minister-designate Abadi.  I had a chance to speak to Prime Minister-designate Abadi a few days ago, and he spoke about the need for the kind of inclusive government -- a government that speaks to all the people of Iraq -- that is needed right now.  He still has a challenging task in putting a government together, but we are modestly hopeful that the Iraqi government situation is moving in the right direction."
 
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Comments

Melissa e.
|
Michigan, USA
August 14, 2014
Eliminate isil or whatever those murderers are calling themselves.
Eric J.
|
New Mexico, USA
August 15, 2014

This a positive sign, along with the Iraqi PM's resignation to allow a new government be formed unimpeded by rumoprs of his trying to hold onto that position.

On another note;

It suddenly occured to me today that there may be a real simple way for the DoD to retrofit it's mechanized assets with a "Kill switch" to remotely render any vehicle, tank, or aircraft absolutely useless to a hostile entity that has taken physical possetion of them, as ISIL has with US arms provided to Iraqi armed forces and then abandoned in retreat.

Most if not all modern engines come with an ECM , or electronic control modual, which controls ignition timing, fuel delivery, and other functions via sensors in the engine reporting to what is basicly an onboard computer chip with factory pre programed functions.

These days folks can push a button on their ket fob and remotely start their cars, unlock doors, etc... but imagine if a drone could fly over ISIL held territory beeming out a proprietary coded signal that would trigger a self destruct mechanism inside the vehicle's ECM that would fry the circuitry? There's no workaround for that...the ECM would have to be replaced before the vehicle could be opperable again and the vehicle abandoned.

Not that this idea will help at present in denying ISIS the use of captured US military hardware, but would provide a number of safeguards in the future including preventing any entity from using US made mechanized military hardware from being used on a civilian population.

EJ 8/13/14

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