Saturday November 28th, 2015 1:29PM

US: Iraqi insurgency threatens American interests

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
LONDON (AP) -- Years of investing in Iraq with time, money and lives of American soldiers are the reasons the U.S. is considering new military action to quell a fast-moving insurgency that has taken key areas of northern Iraq and vows to march on Baghdad while still resisting direct involvement in neighboring Syria's civil war, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.<br /> <br /> He said the Sunni insurgency, which has swept to control of several cities in Iraq's west and north, is also plotting against American and Western interests.<br /> <br /> Known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the brutal insurgency has brought Iraq back to the forefront of U.S. foreign policy as the Obama administration debates how deeply to intervene halfway around the world. President Barack Obama has touted his decision to end the war in 2011 as one of his administration's key successes.<br /> <br /> Kerry said no decision had been made as of Friday as to whether the U.S. military would help Iraq beat back the insurgency. The Iraqi government has asked for U.S. airstrikes to target terrorists, and the Obama administration is weighing whether to do so.<br /> <br /> Kerry said a decision would be made soon.<br /> <br /> "Iraq is a country we've had a very direct relationship with, very direct investment and engagement with, not to mention the lives of our soldiers who were lost there, providing this opportunity to them," Kerry told reporters at the end of a conference in London on combating sexual violence in conflict zones. "And I don't think anybody in the region, or in this administration, believes it is in the interest of the United States to turn our backs on that."<br /> <br /> He said the U.S. is "laser focused" on helping Iraq.<br /> <br /> Nearly 4,500 U.S. troops were killed in the war that began with a 2003 invasion led by the U.S., and the conflict cost American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.<br /> <br /> There were signs that pulling together another international coalition - which Obama said in his recent West Point foreign policy speech was his preferred method of military intervention - on Iraq would be difficult.<br /> <br /> British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the U.K. is not prepared to offer military intervention in Iraq. London's reluctance to provide military action in Syria last year was a driving factor in the White House refusal to launch air strikes there. The German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said Friday that the Sunni-led insurgency was a powerful force that could make preventing a partitioned Iraq very difficult.<br /> <br /> Kerry also briefly cited evidence of plots that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has built against the United States and the West, but he did not provide any details. Kerry described ISIL as a "terrorist enemy" that has threatened the U.S. and West. He said the insurgent network, which is inspired by if not directly linked to al-Qaida, "has been plotting and looking for opportunities to take on the West."<br /> <br /> Obama made clear in the speech at the U.S. Military Academy on May 27 that he believes unilateral American military action should be reserved for instances in which core national interests are challenged or the public's safety is in jeopardy.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 10 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 10 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 10 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 10 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 10 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 10 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 10 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 10 months ago )
Standoff at Planned Parenthood ends with suspect's arrest; 3 killed, 9 wounded
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A gunman who opened fire inside a Planned Parenthood clinic was arrested Friday after engaging in gun battles with authorities during an hourslong standoff that killed t...
1:13AM ( 12 hours ago )
White House undergoes Thanksgiving Day lockdown after man draped in American flag jumps fence
WASHINGTON (AP) — A man draped in an American flag climbed over the fence at the White House on Thursday, prompting a lockdown as the first family celebrated Thanksgiving.The man was immediately appre...
10:11PM ( 1 day ago )
Obama grants reprieve to turkeys 'Honest' and 'Abe' during White House ceremony
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spared two turkeys named for one of the nation's most admired presidents, continuing a White House tradition that provides a refreshing sense of amusement and...
9:18PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: UN Security Council strongly condemns 'horrifying' attack in Mali, urges probe
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The latest on the attack on a hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako. (All times local):___4:55 a.m.The U.N. Security Council is condemning "the horrifying terrorist attack" at the...
10:58PM ( 1 week ago )
World leaders vow vigorous response to Paris terror spree, but little indication of next steps
ANTALYA, Turkey (AP) — World leaders vowed a vigorous response to the Islamic State group's terror spree in Paris as they opened a two-day meeting in Turkey on Sunday, with President Barack Obama call...
2:14PM ( 1 week ago )