US Flew Secret Drone Missions Over Iraq
Embassy evacuation plans stepped up
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2014 1:45 AM CDT
Updated Jun 13, 2014 2:19 AM CDT
This still image from video made by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense on shows what the ministry says are airstrikes on fighters north of Samarra in Salah al-Din province, Iraq.    (AP Photo/Iraqi Ministry of Defense)

(Newser) – The US rebuffed Iraq's request for airstrikes as insurgents gained strength, but American drones were already collecting intelligence on the militants. The secret drone program, carried out with the consent of the Iraqi government since last year, failed to predict the rapid advance of militants who have now seized several cities, officials tell the Wall Street Journal. "It's not like it did any good," one US official says. President Obama says "all the options" are being considered to help Iraq and while the use of ground troops has been ruled out, officials are considering expanding the drone program.

The al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants have vowed to take the fight to Baghdad, and although the capital is not expected to fall, Americans in Iraq are keeping an eye on the exit. Officials say they have stepped up plans for the evacuation of the US Embassy in Baghdad, and the BBC reports that American defense contractors working with the Iraqi military are being shifted to safer areas. Hundreds of contractors "are being temporarily relocated by their companies due to security concerns in the area," according to a State Department spokeswoman.

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Jun 13, 2014 8:38 AM CDT
Another glaring example of the incompetence of our CIA analysts and Pentagon "experts". When will Americans wake up and start to prosecute the Asswipe Generals that deliver only chaos and death around the globe. This is way beyond accountability. They are criminals. The military is America's worst export. It is time to completely break down the frozen, self-serving DoD and cut their funding by 50 percent. Fukk these lying bastards - Hard.
Jun 13, 2014 8:20 AM CDT
Dear Mr. President: Please keep fighting the Keystone Pipeline. Having backup oil supplies for our country is nonsense, because nothing ever goes wrong in the Middle East, right?
Jun 13, 2014 8:14 AM CDT
"President Obama says "all the options" are being considered to help Iraq: And those options will still be in the process of being considered when Baghdad falls. I am not crazy about the U.S. having any involvement in Iraq, it's just that the Prez is decision-challenged.