Al Qaeda-Linked Militants Take Aim at Baghdad
The crisis in Iraq continues to intensify as militants take aim on the country’s capitol.
Iraq wants the U.S. to consider helping with airstrikes, but the White House has signaled that is not a consideration.
We want to take a look at some of the key dates in the U.S. involvement in Iraq.
March 20, 2003: President George W. Bush tells the nation that American and coalition forces are beginning an operation to disarm the country, free it’s people and defend the world on evidence of weapons of mass destruction. That was never substantiated.
Four years later, January 2007: A surge of 30,000 additional troops are sent in to restore security.
One year later, the U.S. and Iraq ratify an agreement to pull U.S. combat forces out by December of 2011.
February of 2009: President Obama approves a withdrawal plan.
On December 15, 2011, the mission formally ended.
In that time frame, more than 4,400 U.S. troops were killed in action, and more than 32,000 more wounded.
This week, Islamic militants are taking over major cities. Sunni fighters are vowing to seize Baghdad and topple the government.
Iraq’s government is asking for U.S. airstrikes. President Obama says the the administration is weighing all options.
“I think it’s fair to say that in our consultations with the Iraqi’s, there will be some short-term, immediate things that need to be done militarily,” the President said.
Iraq security officials say Al-Qaeda linked militants have taken the city of Tikrit.
On Tuesday, fighters took Mosul.
Saddam Hussein’s hometown was under the control of the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant, whose fighters took Mosul earlier this week.
The provincial governor based in the city is missing.
An estimated half million people fled the city after fighters took power.
Catherine Robinson, the PR representative from UNHCR said that, “Some people who don’t have people waiting on the other side for them and don’t have any money, the government has set up this transit camp for them so that they have a place to stay.”
American troops left the area more than two years ago.