Iraq: While Our Troops Battle, Baghdad Bickers
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At a time when U.S. forces are risking life and limb to protect Iraqi citizens from being slaughtered by ISIL forces and to provide humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Kurds fleeing the ISIL terrorists, over in Baghdad Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is more concerned about his political survival than about the survival of his people — perhaps even his nation.
As Iraq’s President Fuad Masum asked the deputy speaker of parliament, Haider al-Abadi, to form a new government, Maliki has made it clear that he is not about to give power quietly by maneuvering “elite military units in Baghdad overnight on August 10, cutting off entrances to the protected Green Zone, in an effort to secure power by use of force,” according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
The Guardian reports that political allies of Maliki are digging their heels in “with a televised address Monday in which Khalaf Abdul-Samad, a member of Maliki’s Dawa Party, said the nominee to replace Maliki has no legitimacy.”
In the meantime our military continue to conduct both air strikes against ISIL terrorists and airdrops of food and water for the thousands of Iraqis threatened by the terrorists on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Leavindofske, left, and U.S. Air Force Senior Airman David Babcock load bundles of halal meals onto a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for a humanitarian airdrop over Iraq, Aug. 9, 2014. Leavindofske, a ramp team chief, and Babcock, an air transportation journeyman, are assigned to the 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron. Photo: DoD
From U.S. Central Command:
U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Iraq yesterday, successfully conducting multiple airstrikes from a mix of fighters and remotely piloted vehicles to defend Kurdish forces near Erbil, where U.S. personnel and citizens are located:
— U.S. aircraft struck and destroyed an ISIL armed truck that was firing on Kurdish forces in the approaches to Erbil. After the strike, U.S. forces monitored the movement of a second ISIL armed truck moving away from the vicinity of the strike, subsequently striking and destroying it.
— U.S aircraft struck and destroyed an ISIL mortar position, destroying it and damaging a nearby ISIL armed truck and later destroyed an ISIL armed truck.
— In another strike, U.S. aircraft damaged another armed ISIL vehicle.
All aircraft left the strike areas safely, officials said.
The U.S. military conducted a fourth airdrop of food and water yesterday for thousands of Iraqi citizens threatened by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.
This airdrop, conducted from multiple air bases in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, included one C-17 and three C-130 cargo aircraft that together dropped a total of 88 bundles of supplies. U.S. fighter aircraft in the area supported the mission.
The C-17 dropped 40 container delivery system bundles of fresh drinking water totaling 3,804 gallons. The three C-130s dropped 48 bundles totaling 22,488 packaged meals and 590 gallons of fresh drinking water.
To date, in coordination with the Iraqi government, U.S. military aircraft have delivered more than 74,000 meals and more than 15,000 gallons of fresh drinking water, to displaced Yezidis
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