Militants, Iraqi security forces clash as US weighs options
Washington, DC (CNN) - The violence continues in Iraq today, as towns and cities fall to the militant group ISIS. Officials here in the United States are debating whether the US military should get involved.
Iraq is unraveling, and the US is considering whether to get involved. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is marching through the country, capturing key cities like Tal Afar and Mosul, setting its sights on Baghdad.
Over the weekend, graphic images surfaced purportedly showing executions of Iraqi Security Forces. Today, the Iraqi military struck back. According to State TV, over 200 militants were killed in targeted strikes. Secretary of State John Kerry told yahoo news, US officials are watching the situation closely, but as of now not taking military action.
John Kerry – Secretary of State: "Americans feel very powerfully about not putting boots back on the ground in Iraq so we will consider what options are available to us."
The US may engage with Iran to find a possible solution. Two senior officials tell CNN President Obama is exploring direct talks. It's an idea even some republicans support.
Senator Lindsey Graham - (R) South Carolina” "We should have discussions with Iran. You just sit down and talk to them."
Meanwhile, in Baghdad, officials are on high alert. The state department issued a warning to US citizens there, and the embassy is boosting its own security. The question now is, will the US military get involved? Some are pushing for targeted air strikes, or even some troop deployment.
General Anthony Zinni - Former CENTCOM Commander: "I do believe we ought to put Special Forces teams on the ground. We need eyes on the ground, and I think these are ideally trained units."
President Obama said on Friday that is not an option