Iraq heightens appeal for U.S. air strikes
Agence France Presse reported Wednesday that Iraq has appealed to the United States to conduct air strikes on the Sunni militants' strongholds who are responsible for seizing the country's main oil refinery.
"Iraq has officially asked Washington to help under the security agreement (between the two countries), and to conduct air strikes against terrorist groups," Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told AFP and other reporters in Saudi Arabia Wednesday.
Zebari's statement comes in response to the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)'s seize of the country's main oil refinery as well as their growing control in Iraq's northern regions.
Zebari emphasized in his commentary that such strikes would only be part of the solution to ending Iraq's growing turmoil. "A military approach will not be enough. We acknowledge the need for drastic political solutions," he said.
Though Washington sent a marine force to ensure security at its embassy in Baghdad, Obama has emphasized that sending troops back to Iraq "is not on the cards," according to the AFP report.
The U.S. previously implemented a multi-million dollar training program for Iraq's army, but the report did not mention if similar programming would be discussed in the future.
While Obama insisted that sending troops to Iraq is off the table, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that drone strikes could be an option.
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