Terrorism & Insurgency

US airstrikes in Iraq likely to prevent Islamic State militants' advance into Kurdistan Region or Baghdad

08 August 2014


US president Barack Obama yesterday (7 August) authorised airstrikes on Islamic State militants to protect the Kurdistan Region and Yazidi refugees stranded in the Sinjar Mountains; humanitarian relief was also delivered today (8 August).

The authorisation of US airstrikes comes after the Islamic State forced the retreat of Kurdish Peshmerga forces from multiple locations in Ninawa province and Arab-Kurd disputed territory. The United States probably considers Islamic State advances into the Kurdistan Region to be a red line, given the threat to US investments and the Kurdistan Region's role as a potential staging ground for future operations. Yesterday, US energy companies Exxon Mobil and Chevron announced that they are evacuating personnel from the Kurdistan Region.

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