The U.S. dispatched 130 special advisers to Iraq so that they could assess the situation in which the religious minorities on Mt. Sinjar find themselves and develop a rescue plan that would have them seen to safety.
Ben Rhodes, National Security Council spokesman, explained that the Obama administration is concerned with the safety of the Iraqis that have been trapped on the mountain. As such, the 130 experts would make recommendations about possible rescue missions that would see the people that are currently stuck on the mountain to safety.
Rhodes added that the U.S. effort is doubled by British support, as well as Iraqi cooperation. He explained that, while there was no definitive plan, they had considered airlifting the religious minorities off the mountain or creating a safe corridor that could be guarded so that they reach safety.
In spite of the tense situation, the U.S. will not be reintroducing its troops into Iraq and this is the point that every spokesman is stressing. Rhodes insisted that the use of U.S. ground troops that could assist in an evacuation was not the equivalent of a reintroduction of troops.
Rhodes explained that there were several options that the U.S. has to assist in the evacuation but that there were no decisions made since matters need to be properly prepared.
Other countries have also been responding to Iraq’s pleas for help: France, for instance, said that it would be sending troops to aid the Kurdish forces in the northern parts of the country. According to them, the Kurds are in urgent need of support against radicals of the IS. Additionally, France said that the shipments of arms headed for Iraq have the blessing of the Shiite-controlled government in Baghdad.
Thanks to humanitarian efforts and airdrops that took place last week, the survival of the remaining refugees on mount Sinjar is ensured for now, according to Gen. Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman. He added, however, that the situation is still grave, because the fate of these religious minorities is dependent on how the Iraqi government manages to negotiate between Kurds and Sunnis.
Baghdad still sees daily attacks and many of them are deadly: 29 people were killed and scores were wounded during attacks that took place on Wednesday.
At the same time, Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki disagrees with the attempts of the Iraqi president of selecting another member of the Shiite party to form a new government, accusing the president of violating the constitution. He also warned the president that such actions would have worse consequences than militant advances.