Iraq is chaos as the government battles with an
Al Qaeda splinter group known as the Islamic
State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck
Hagel has responded to the situation by ordering an aircraft
carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush, to the Persian Gulf. It is
supposed to arrive sometime tonight.
The Defense Department explains
in a press release that "the order will provide President Barack
Obama additional flexibility should military options be required to
protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq."
notes that the carrier "will be accompanied by the
guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the guided-missile
destroyer USS Truxtun."
President Barack Obama stated earlier this week, "We will not be
sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my
national security team to prepare a range of other options that
could help support Iraqi security forces, and I'll be reviewing
those options in the days ahead."
"Iraq's military claimed Saturday it had regained key northern
territories, including most of Salaheddin province, which includes
Samarra, from ISIS, a claim that conflicted with reports from
security officials in Baghdad and Samarra, who told CNN that 60
percent to 70 percent of the province remains in the hands of
ISIS," reports CNN.
Reason's J.D. Tuccille
explained a bit about ISIS yesterday:
Founded in 2004 and originally affiliated with al-Qaeda, ISIS
fell out with its parent organization, which it may now be
overshadowing. ISIS is said to be responsible for the deaths of
thousands of Iraqi civilians. The group has since expanded into
Syria, and flourished during that country's civil war. The
organization's goal is to establish
an Islamic state in the region—an accomplishment that it
appears to be much closer to accomplishing than most people would
have believed just weeks ago.
For more Reason coverage of Iraq, click here.