US Strikes Iraq With Land-Based Bombers
President Obama updates Congress with a letter
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 17, 2014 5:00 PM CDT
A Kurdish peshmerga fighter prepares his weapon at his combat position near the Mosul Dam at the town of Chamibarakat outside Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, Aug 17, 2014.   (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

(Newser) – The US has expanded its air campaign in Iraq with attacks aimed at helping Iraqi forces regain control of the strategic Mosul dam. The White House said President Obama notified Congress today that the widened mission would be limited in duration and scope. The administration's letter to Congress said "the mission is consistent with the president's directive that the US military protect US personnel and facilities in Iraq, since the failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians and threaten US personnel and facilities—including the US Embassy in Baghdad." It also noted that the failure of the dam could "prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services" to the Iraqi people.

The letter said: "I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution." White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the operations are being undertaken in coordination with and at the request of the government of Iraq. The latest round of US airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State extremist group includes the first reported use of land-based bombers in the military campaign. Kurdish security officials say Kurdish forces, aided by US and Iraqi airstrikes, have now taken over parts of the dam. Militants had captured control of the dam less than two weeks ago. The US military says US forces conducted nine strikes yesterday and another 16 today. The second round of strikes damaged or destroyed 10 armed vehicles, seven Humvees, two armored personnel carriers, and one checkpoint, the US said.

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Aug 18, 2014 6:59 AM CDT
I wonder what odds the bookmakers are giving on Baghdad getting wet. I'd be getting way the hell out of the way of the watercourse now if I were there. My guess is that if Isis can't have it, they'll make sure nobody else can either. And you can call me..................Not optimistic
Aug 18, 2014 2:25 AM CDT
We are not helping "Iraqi forces", there are none of those within at least a hundred miles of the dam. The people we are helping are the Kurds, who at this point quite understandably want nothing to do with the Iraqi government; control of this dam will be a very potent bargaining chip for them. Partition is a done deal now, the only thing left is to negotiate the terms of it.
Aug 18, 2014 12:12 AM CDT
I was against intervention in Yugoslavia, Libya, Darfur, etc, but I'm all for burning ISIS. Once again, thanks for helping to stand up against genocide China and Russia, (sarcasm). Oh, I forgot, Russia can't really win a war anyway, and China is lame.