Iraq Formally Asks 'Reluctant' US For Airstrikes Against Jihadists

Tyler Durden's picture

Despite the White House seeming reluctance to see airstrikes as an imminent option (as AP reports, in part because there are few clear targets that U.S. could hit, officials said), Arabiya TV - citing Iraq's Foreign Minister Zarabi, has asked for help (seemingly triggered by ISIS attacks on the Baiji refinery):


This has now been confirmed by the BBC reporting that Gen. Martin Dempsey confirms the request. So 275 boots on the ground are not boots on the ground and now the US will reluctantly but pin-pointedly accurately bomb the bad guys (and some good guys) in Iraq... how has that ended in the past?

As BBC reports,

Iraq has formally called on the United States to launch air strikes against jihadist militants who have seized several key cities.


"We have a request from the Iraqi government for air power," confirmed top US military commander Gen Martin Dempsey.


The announcement came after insurgents launched an attack on Iraq's biggest oil refinery north of Baghdad.

As AP reported yesterday,

President Barack Obama has shifted his focus away from airstrikes in Iraq as an imminent option for slowing a fast-moving Islamic insurgency, in part because there are few clear targets that U.S. could hit, officials said.


Officials said Obama has made no final decisions and could ultimately approve limited strikes if stronger targets emerge. The CIA and other spy agencies are scrambling to close intelligence gaps in the region and track the movements of key figures in the militant group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which seized Mosul, Tikrit and other towns in Iraq as the country's military melted away. 


"It's time for the Iraqis to resolve it themselves," said Reid

As WaPo adds, the Pentagon's top leaders testified Wednesday that a U.S. campaign of airstrikes in Iraq would be fraught with complications, both political and military, and suggested that a rush to take such action could backfire.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Iraqi government has requested that Washington provide "air power" as it tries to take back territory seized in recent weeks by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other insurgents.


Dempsey told a panel from the Senate Appropriations Committee that the Obama administration was still weighing how to respond. But he emphasized that airstrikes would be extremely complicated. "It's not as easy as looking at an iPhone video of a convoy and then immediately striking," he said.




"There is very little that — that could have been done to overcome the degree to which the government of Iraq had failed its people. That's what has caused this problem," Dempsey said. "This has not broken down entirely on sectarian lines, but it could."

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Overfed's picture

A good top post would be "Krugman just came in his pants!"  Newbie.

0b1knob's picture

Unpopular presidents like to start wars and then wrap themselves in the flag.  Fortunately that's not a problem with Dear Leader Obama.

COSMOS's picture

Why would the USA do a strike against the very people its supporting.  I saw a pic on daily mail and all those ISIS guys guarding the main dude were equipped with M16s, pretty obvious who is feeding the Sunni war machine..

fallout11's picture

The english-friendly name (like Cobra or Hydra), ballcaps, sunglasses, t-shirts, rifles held at low ready, obviously freshly dyed hair and beards, new F-350 pickup trucks, and similar were also good tells.  

Joe Davola's picture

I believe in America.  America has made my fortune. - Foreign Minister Zarabi

quasimodo's picture

Supplying them with all those vehicles should help alleviate the channel stuffing

Freddie's picture

ISIS good for continued M-16/M4 sales.  Some of these guys look a lot like Blackwater, Xe, Mi6, Al See EYe Aye duh.  They look like guys at the Boston bombing and Sandy Hook too,

manofthenorth's picture

Standard US Military operating procedure;

S.N.A.F.U. ( Situation Normal All Fucked Up )

It is like watching a bad B movie where you know how it turns out but you can not leave the theater.

Winston Smith 2009's picture

"Why would the USA do a strike against the very people its supporting.  I saw a pic on daily mail and all those ISIS guys guarding the main dude were equipped with M16s, pretty obvious who is feeding the Sunni war machine."

Besides the huge caches of arms (including M16s) ISIS has captured from fleeing ARVN, er, I mean Iraqi Army troops and their bases? Not saying the US isn't arming them in Syria, but there are plenty of captured M16s in Iraq.

0b1knob's picture

Iraqi army war surplus M-16.  Slightly used.

Never fired.   Only dropped once.

pelican's picture

I guess my 800 dollar a year raise will go to paying for more cruise missiles.... that were once million dollars a pop 20 years ago.


At least they don't have Manpads... oh, they do?



McMolotov's picture

Krugman needs manpads for all his Keynesian spoo. Hey-o!

All is chosen's picture

The definitive zh universal post has been created at last.

Dr. Engali's picture

Airstrikes should be good to help Toyota's sales anyway. See I'm always looking for the brightside of human suffering.

Overfed's picture

Also a fine lead in to the commentary. ;-)

fallout11's picture

Mmm, more broken windows.

tonyw's picture

"how has that ended in the past?"

the point is not to end it but keep perpetual war, that way the MIC is assured of perpetual income.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

It's not real easy to bomb people out of a refinery.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Doc, and w/o the need for a ToyotaCare Warranty (2 yrs free Service), the purchase costs should be even lower.

Either that or Toyota's profit margins will be higher.  ;-)

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Well, general dempsey, the Syrian Air Force has bombed some convoys with vietnam era mig 21s ( and also su 25s and mig 29s ) so what is your excuse? These guys will trip over themselves to run to a microphone to brag about the abilities of the US military, but then pretend that they can't see a fucking convoy of trucks with 23mm machine guns driving through a DESERT?


Your excuse is youu guys don't want Maliki there anymore. Hitlery gave the kiss of death yesterday - Maliki must go.


If the US wanted ISIS gone those convoys would have been twisted hulks already. They didn't get ISIS going in Syria only to kill them in Iraq. BArring political outrage and pressure, they don't seem keen on doing anything but rooting for ISIS quietly.

Urban Redneck's picture

Barry & Gen Dipshit would look even more like little dogs (or human fire plugs) if Russia (which has plenty of aircraft and laser guided bombs ready to go) and Iran (which has boots on ground in Iraq now and can identify targets) decided to team up in an effort to boost Russian arms exports and send a not-so-subtle message to the Ukeys...

(and since the Iranians could simply rebrand "friendly fire" accidents as "martyr manufacturing" there really is no down side)

Freddie's picture

I really like the Syrians.   They have a lot of guts. Americans and the US Military just let the scum take over America like cowards.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Ziad is an international treasure for his reporting. I am on that site every day and have been for over a year.

Freddie's picture

Pierre Sprey talking about how the Mig 21 is better than the F-35.

Winston Smith 2009's picture

"These guys will trip over themselves to run to a microphone to brag about the abilities of the US military, but then pretend that they can't see a fucking convoy of trucks with 23mm machine guns driving through a DESERT?"

Oh, you mean the ones ISIS captured from the Iraqi Army which look just like the equipment the Iraqi Army will be using (once they stop running) against ISIS?

"Friendly fire" incidents will be numerous.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

One, the iraqi army typically doesn't travel in long convoys of civilian trucks flying black flags with 23mm cannons on them, originating from the wilds of the desert from syria.

Two, the military has the abliity to communicate with radios.

So no. Not the ones they stole from the irqi army. The ones they drove in on, built in Turkey with saudi money when the west was training them.

rubiconsolutions's picture

At some point in time this nonsense will come to these shores. Until that happens the American people will sit passively by as they gleefully dispatch their children off to drop bombs and pull triggers. They don't care because for them it isn't personal, it's just some video game played out on their wizbang new plasma television. Most people have bought into the notion that America is "exceptional" and must be the purveyor of democracy throughout the world while being totally oblivious to the fact that it has failed at home. While I wasn't a huge fan of his policies John Kennedy hit the nail squarely on the head when he said - “War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”

Berspankme's picture

Sure glad they are getting that great military strategist Harry Reid involved

alien-IQ's picture

watch the market go fucking parabolic on this news.

Freddie's picture

The CIA and other spy agencies are scrambling to close intelligence gaps in the region and track the movements of key figures.

Just call Johnny McCain and Lindsey Graham - they have ISIS cell numbers.  Maybe McCain can do a shout out Tweet to them.  They may be too busy beaheading some poor helpless person.

ISIS is Saudi Arabia, USA, UK, Israel, Turkey, Jordan and other Gulf States.

Someday the House of Saud will pay the piper.  Hopefully Putin with rip Prince Bandhar Bush's testicles off.

El Vaquero's picture


agent default's picture

Vietnam was just a run of the mill fuck up.  This will be Royal.

kchrisc's picture

"Vietnam was just a run of the mill fuck up.  This will be Royal."

Vietnam was lost. They won in Iraq, "Mission Accomplished," and still lost. LOL

However the MIC and banksters won in both cases, which was all that really mattered to them in the first place.


“I have a “Mission Accomplished” banner on my guillotine.”

nuclearsquid's picture

on this site, its better to be the first with a witty comment

slaughterer's picture

He is a turdite, they make their own rules wherever they go.

alien-IQ's picture

"brevity is the soul of wit"


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

But Goethe made it rhyme: "In der Kürze liegt die Würze"

carbonmutant's picture

Accuracy improves with practice... like beta testing before you release it on the public

101 years and counting's picture

reluctant, my ass.  obama loves killing people.  as all sociopaths do.

Soda Popinski's picture

Barry's not as much into killing his fellow Sunnis.  Must destroy the apostate shi'a.

BobTheSlob's picture

Can't the effing world do ANYTHING without US involvement. How difficult can it be to blow up a bunch of Allah Snackbarring idiots in pickup trucks?

Zadok's picture

Snackbar? Please explain, thanks.

BobTheSlob's picture this point, what difference does it make?

tonyw's picture

Allah Snackbar, it's what they call out when they get a bit exciteable, perhaps they get a bit hungry when shooting the air :-)


How difficult can it be? well quite difficult when you've dropped your guns and run away.

Bemused Observer's picture

Ha, that 'shooting into the air' thing sure strikes us here in the US as hostile...but over there they do it at weddings and other happy celebratory occasions...

"A bunch of towel-heads firing automatic weapons...they're jihadis, bomb them!"..."Wait,'s just a happy send-off to Layla and Ahmed...never mind."

We really have NO clue how to deal with these folks, we just refuse to understand that they aren't all just pupal-Americans who only need some gentle encouragement to be born. And when we leave, and they revert to all their old ways, we wonder what's wrong with them...why are they rejecting our obviously superior ways?

espirit's picture

Warning shots into the air here are 3rd degree felonies, over there it's just warming up.

Long 7.62x39 Russian.

Boozer's picture

When they scream, "Allah hu akbar" it sounds like Allan's snackbar.

Hope that clears things up for you Zadok.

I believe a fellow ZHer coined/noted this a year or so ago.

Bemused Observer's picture

We've been watching too many Hollywood movies the woman in the Esurance commercials says, "That's not how it works...that's not how any of this works!"

It's like when people say "Why couldn't the cop have just shot the gun out of his hand?" It looks so easy on TV, but anyone with actual shooting experience would tell you it is NOT.
Targeted airstrikes from thousands of feet up are just as difficult. Not just the implementation, but the targeting to begin with. You CAN hit that large group of people if you want, but you have no way of being sure it isn't a wedding party instead of a jihadi gathering. You are depending on intelligence to tell you, and what is the track record there?
I think that one of the reasons we here in America ARE so gung-ho over war is Hollywood...they only show us the heroic, over-the-top action-hero stuff. We come to think these things ARE possible, and that we can successfully do them. And others around the world, who HAVE had to step over corpses in their streets, and have had their own cities bombed into rubble, look at us like we were completely bonkers.