Obama authorizes limited air strikes on Iraq as IS widens control
Barack Obama - REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
By NOURHAN MAGDI

CAIRO: President Barack Obama authorized the U.S. limited air strikes targeting IS militants to prevent their imminent advance onto the Kurdish city of Erbil, according to Time magazine Thursday.

Under its pursuit of an Islamic Caliphate (IS) called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS), its militants so far controlled wide swaths of Iraq and Syria. One of its latest moves was seizing the country’s largest dam, leaving thousands of Yazidi Iraqi minorities stranded on Sinjar Mountain and the withdrawal of the Kurdish forces Peshmerga.

The Yazidi, a religious minority usually dubbed by IS as “devil worshippers,” called on Obama to help them out of their current crisis. The IS’ latest holds on towns near Iraqi Kurdistan prompted Obama to airdrop food and water to refugees who are under IS siege.

Fear rose among Iraqi Kurds, as IS still scores more advance, which might threaten a pursued independent Kurdistan state; a long Iraqi Kurds’ dream.

Other religious minorities, including Christians and Shabak, were forced to flee the imminent danger of being massacred; they were given the choice to convert to Islam or be killed. IS has also reportedly killed many Muslim Shiites in several attacks.

In Syria, IS militants stormed many governmental outposts and killed dozens of Bashar al-Assad’s soldiers, according to media news outlets reports.

Two weeks ago, ISIS fighters beheaded at least 50 soldiers in Syria when they took over a base outside Raqqa city, Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reported Friday.

Youm7 reported a statement claimed to be issued by IS that they permitted the beheading of any person belonging to the Syrian government’s military.

Additional reporting by Abdel Wahab el-Gendy.

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