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Congress Divided Over US Military in Iraq

Al-Monitor reports that “US lawmakers are deeply divided over whether to provide air support for the struggling Iraqi military in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), blunting the pressure on the White House to move swiftly.”  

“While a habitual group of vocal interventionists called for immediate action on June 12, many key lawmakers proved reluctant despite rapid gains by ISIS, an al-Qaeda spin-off.”  

“President Barack Obama said June 12 that his national security team is ‘looking at all the options’ but would not commit to any course of action.”  

“Several Republicans urged military intervention following reports that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has called for US strikes by drones and manned aircraft.”  

Stars and Stripes reports that “Senate Republicans on Thursday said U.S. airstrikes could be used to push back al-Qaida-aligned militants threatening the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.”  

“Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee received a confidential briefing from Department of Defense Iraq and Middle East experts. After the briefing, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the situation was ‘chilling’ and that the country was collapsing to Sunni Islamic fundamentalists bent on creating a caliphate in the Middle East.”