US president is considering a targeted campaign of airstrikes against Sunni militants in Iraq
Washington : US congressional leaders were to meet President Barack Obama in the White House to discuss the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, officials said.
Democratic and Republican officials said the top four lawmakers — House Speaker John Boehner, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Senator Mitch McConnell — will sit down with the president.
The meeting is “a part of (Obama’s) ongoing consultations with congressional leadership on foreign policy issues, including the situation in Iraq,” a White House official said.
Obama and congressional leaders are expected to discuss how the United States should respond to rapid advances made by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in an offensive that has overrun a wide swath of the country in a matter of days. McConnell “asked the president to provide us with a strategy and a plan and it’s his hope that those will be provided at the meeting,” a McConnell aide told AFP.
According to a report by The New York Times, President Obama is considering a targeted, highly selective campaign of airstrikes against Sunni militants in Iraq similar to counterterrorism operations in Yemen. Such a campaign, most likely using drones, could last for a prolonged period, the official said, the report added. Even if the president were to order strikes, they would be far more limited in scope than the air campaign conducted during the Iraq war, the daily quoted an official saying.