Obama considers option to evacuate trapped Iraqi civilians
The establishment of humanitarian corridors and airlifts are among options being considered by the US President Barack Obama to evacuate the Iraqi civilians trapped on a mountain to avoid Islamist militants' onslaught, the White House said Wednesday.
Deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, Benjamin Rhodes said "a lasting solution" was needed even as American warplanes were continuing aid drops to the Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar, an operation that started last Friday and included targeted air raids on the Islamic State (IS) militants, Xinhua reported.
"There are a range of options. You look at corridors, you look at airlifts, you look at different ways to move people who are in a very dangerous place on that mountain to a safer position and that is exactly what our team is doing now on the ground now in Iraq," Rhodes told reporters.
He said Obama would make his decision "in a matter of days" based on an assessment of the situation on Sinjar Mountain and in northern Iraq made by some 130 American military advisers just sent into Iraq.
Earlier Tuesday, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the arrival of 130 additional US military advisers in the Kurdish capital of Erbil, where it will help rescue a large group of civilians besieged by the Sunni terrorists of the IS.
"We do not believe it is sustainable to just have permanent airdrops to this population on the mountain," he explained, saying Washington would be cooperating with the Kurdish forces and its allies on the evacuation effort.
The IS has seized major towns in northern Iraq and forced tens of thousands of people from minority communities, mainly Christians and Yazidis to displace.
(Posted on 14-08-2014)
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