The US involvement in Iraq seems to be steadily increasing. Aircraft are operating to conduct both rescue efforts and bombing missions. The number of military functioning in an advisory capacity has been increased by 130. The Obama administration is now considering using on the ground military personnel to get the Yazidis off the mountain. That could lead to armed contact with the ISIS forces.
American military advisers landed on Mount Sinjar in Iraq early Wednesday to begin assessing how to organize an evacuation of the thousands of Yazidi refugees under siege from Sunni militants, an American official said.Clearly there is broad public support for the rescue operation on Mt. Sinjar. However, US activities are also moving in several other directions. They are providing arms and support directly to the Kurdish forces while the central Iraqi government in Baghdad is in a state of full chaos. I doubt that anybody can really predict where all this is leading.
News of the landing, which involved fewer than 20 advisers, came hours after a senior White House official said that the United States would consider using American ground troops to assist in the rescue if recommended by the military team.
Benjamin J. Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, told reporters on Martha’s Vineyard that President Obama would probably receive recommendations in the next several days about how to mount a rescue operation to help the refugees, who are stranded on a mountaintop surrounded by the militants. He said those recommendations could include the use of American ground troops.
But he drew a distinction between the use of American forces to help a humanitarian mission and the use of troops in the battle against militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, something he said the president had rejected before and continued to oppose.