Obama’s Iraq dilemma: UN declares a Level 3 humanitarian crisis

Obama's Iraq dilemma: UN declares a Level 3 humanitarian crisis
President Obama's dilemma in Iraq

WASHINGTON, August 18, 2014 – President Obama has been firm about America leaving the Middle East, particularly Afghanistan and Iraq.  Unfortunately, that may not be possible particularly now that the United Nations has declared the genocide a Level 3 Humanitarian Crisis requiring an international response.

CNN is independently confirming that ISIS has claimed to have killed large numbers of Yazidi men, capturing their women and children who they are holding in “large numbers” somewhere in Mosul.  Women of marriageable age will be “married to ISIS fighters” or else.  “Else” usually means beheading, or being forced to act as suicide bombers.

They are also being sold into sexual slavery.

This comes on the heels of the gruesome tweet of an Australian ISIS fighter’s, who is in Mosul, and his seven year old son holding the severed head of a Yazidi Christian.

“That’s my boy,” wrote Khaled Sharrouf on Twitter, alongside a photo of his seven-year-old son using both hands to hold up a man’s severed head. The photo was reportedly taken in Raqqa, a Syrian city in the stranglehold of Islamic militants, where the Australian father has taken his young family to join the fight. The original tweet has been removed from Twitter.  

Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, speaking about homegrown terrorists, said “the image underscored “the degree which ISIL is so far beyond the pale with respect to any standard that we judge even terrorist group.”

“That child should be in school, that child should be out learning about the future, that child should be playing with other kids, not holding a severed head and out in the field of combat,” he said.

Bishop expressed her concern that terrorists will return to Australia bringing with them their terror: “There are a significant number of Australian citizens who are taking part in activities in Iraq and parts of Syria: Extremist activities, terrorist activities,” Bishop said. “Our fear is that they will return home to Australia as hardened homegrown terrorists and seek to continue their work here in Australia.” However, when we compare the child in the above Twitter pic to the child in the Twitter pic below conclusions as to the authenticity of this tweet, denounced by PM Abbott can be reached.

Horrific reports of torture rooms are emerging, where ISIS fighters are forcing Christians to convert. Even those who do convert often are executed.

Americans are calling on President Obama to do more to help the Christians and other minority groups in peril in Iraq:

The UN has declared Iraq a Level 3 Humanitarian Crisis which should help trigger extra aid to the people.

“Level 3‟ emergencies are defined as, “major sudden onset humanitarian crises triggered by natural disasters or conflict which require system-wide mobilization.” Five criteria are used to determine whether a level 3 response is required, namely scale, urgency, complexity, combined national and international capacity to respond and reputational risk.

U.S. airstrikes, authorized by President Obama last week against ISIS targets are breaking up the ISIS fighters, forcing them to travel less openly. The CIA is also shipping weapons to Kurdish forces. Reports are they have stopped the militant’s advance onto Irbil.

“They had been acting with impunity,” a U.S. official said. “Now they realize they cannot travel up and down the roads in large groups.”

U.S. and Iraqi aircraft struck ISIS targets over the weekend, killing dozens of ISIS fighters, according to officials. On Tuesday, another 130 U.S. troops arrived in Iraq to “assess the scope of the humanitarian crisis facing thousands of displaced Iraqi civilians trapped on Sinjar Mountain and evaluate options for getting them out to safety.”

The troops arriving in the city of Irbil, east of Sinjar where they are to work with representatives of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to coordinate plans with international partners and non-government organizations to help the trapped Yazidi civilians on Sinjar Mountain.

“They will make a very rapid and critical assessment because we understand it’s urgent to try to move those people off the mountain,” Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters traveling with him in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

The U.S. is being careful to not state that forces are being sent in a military action as that would be a declaration of regional war.

“This is not a combat boots on the ground kind of operation,” Hagel said. “We’re not going back into Iraq in any of the same combat mission dimensions that we once were in in Iraq,” he added, referring to the eight-year war that cost more than 4,400 U.S. lives and soured the American public on military involvement in Iraq.

There is a call for ISIS to be recognized as a transnational threat.

Obama’s statement on the crisis Monday afternoon.

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