President Barack Obama may not have a strategy yet for striking ISIS in Syria, but he's widening his campaign against the Islamic State terror group in Iraq.
The United States launched airstrikes against the group — which the administration calls ISIL — and new humanitarian airdrops to the besieged town of Amirli, which has held out for two months against the terror group. But the administration is careful to say that its latest mission will be limited — as Obama already faces calls from members of both parties for congressional authorization of any sustained military campaign.
Here's the statement from the Pentagon:
STATEMENT FROM PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY:
"At the request of the Government of Iraq, the United States military today airdropped humanitarian aid to the town of Amirli, home to thousands of Shia Turkomen who have been cut off from receiving food, water, and medical supplies for two months by ISIL. The United States Air Force delivered this aid alongside aircraft from Australia, France and the United Kingdom who also dropped much needed supplies.
In conjunction with this airdrop, U.S. aircraft conducted coordinated airstrikes against nearby ISIL terrorists in order to support this humanitarian assistance operation.
These military operations were conducted under authorization from the Commander-in-Chief to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and to prevent an ISIL attack on the civilians of Amirli. The operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to address this emerging humanitarian crisis and protect the civilians trapped in Amirli.
The U.S. military will continue to assess the effectiveness of these operations and work with the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as international partners including the Government of Iraq, the United Nations, and non-government organizations to provide humanitarian assistance in Iraq as needed."