Insurgents Make Gains In Iraq, Obama Considers Options - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Insurgents Make Gains In Iraq, Obama Considers Options

Posted: Updated:
President Barack Obama says he's weighing options for countering the insurgency. But he warned Iraqi leaders he won't take military action unless they address the country's political divisions. President Barack Obama says he's weighing options for countering the insurgency. But he warned Iraqi leaders he won't take military action unless they address the country's political divisions.
BAGHDAD (AP) - Fighters from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have been making additional gains in Iraq -- capturing two towns in an ethnically-mixed province northeast of Baghdad.

And Shiite leaders are calling on Iraqis to defend the country from the Sunni militants who've taken some major cities and other territory. A representative of Iraq's most revered Shiite spiritual leader in Iraq told worshippers in Friday prayers that the country is in "great danger," and that fighting the militants is "everybody's responsibility."

Meanwhile, the U.N's human rights chief is expressing 'extreme alarm" at reprisal killings, citing reports of hundreds of dead and wounded. She says her office is hearing about "summary executions" -- and that militants rounded up and killed Iraqi army soldiers as well as 17 civilians on a single street in Mosul.

Neighboring Iran is signaling its willingness to confront the growing threat. Iran's official news agency says that country's powerful Revolutionary Guard is ready to fight in Iraq against the militant group.

Iran has built close political and economic ties with postwar Iraq.

Meanwhile, President Obama said U.S. combat troops won't be returning to Iraq, but he says he's considering a range of other options for dealing with the violent Islamic insurgency there.

The last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011 after more than eight years of war.

Obama says Iraq's government must make a sincere effort to address sectarian differences, or else U.S. military help won't succeed in curbing the insurgency there.

He says, "We can't do it for them."

Obama says the risk posed by terrorists in Iraq could eventually pose a threat to U.S. interests, too.

As the insurgents make gains, soldiers and commanders who served in the long Iraq war are struggling to make sense of this week's developments in places they once fought to protect, such as Mosul and Fallujah.
    
The advances have left many U.S. veterans reflecting - with bitterness, frustration and sadness - on the sacrifices of a war that lasted for more than eight years and killed nearly 4,500 Americans and many more Iraqis.
    
Army Col. Barry Johnson is now retired and living in Potlatch, Idaho. He says the losses make the whole war feel like a waste of lives.
    
Marine Sgt. Colin Archipley fought in Fallujah almost a decade ago. He says Iraq's opportunity was squandered, and he isn't sure what else could have been done.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: 10-year-old goldfish has surgery to remove tumor

    PHOTOS: 10-year-old goldfish has surgery to remove tumor

    Monday, September 15 2014 2:39 PM EDT2014-09-15 18:39:15 GMT
    KHQ.COM - You could say that George the Goldfish is one lucky fish. When George's owners who were reportedly "very attached to him," learned that George had a life-threatening tumor, instead of putting him down or waiting for nature to take its course, they opted for a life-saving operation to save little George's life.>>
    KHQ.COM - You could say that George the Goldfish is one lucky fish. When George's owners who were reportedly "very attached to him," learned that George had a life-threatening tumor, instead of putting him down or waiting for nature to take its course, they opted for a life-saving operation to save little George's life.
    >>
  • Remembering Beau Weiher: Montana man dies in Glacier National Park

    Remembering Beau Weiher: Montana man dies in Glacier National Park

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:01 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:01:41 GMT
    WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) - A 22-year-old Montana man has died, possibly after attempting an illegal BASE jump in Glacier National Park. The National Park Service was notified at Saturday night that Beau Weiher, of Missoula, was overdue from a solo day hike in the Many Glacier Area.>>
    WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) - A 22-year-old Montana man has died, possibly after attempting an illegal BASE jump in Glacier National Park. The National Park Service was notified at Saturday night that Beau Weiher, of Missoula, was overdue from a solo day hike in the Many Glacier Area.>>
  • WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    Thursday, September 11 2014 8:52 PM EDT2014-09-12 00:52:54 GMT
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Police search for attackers after stabbing

    Police search for attackers after stabbing

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 2:38 AM EDT2014-09-16 06:38:49 GMT
    Spokane Police are searching for two suspects after a man walked into an American Medical Response building with stab wounds.It started when a couple were walking near North Madison Street and West Sharpe Avenue with a bike and suitcase Monday night. Two other people approached and tried to steal the belongings. A fight broke out and one of the attackers stabbed the male victim in the back. Both attackers fled with the bike and suitcase.Two bystanders heard the commotion near by and helped tr...>>
    Spokane Police are searching for two suspects after a man walked into an American Medical Response building with stab wounds.It started when a couple were walking near North Madison Street and West Sharpe Avenue with a bike and suitcase Monday night. Two other people approached and tried to steal the belongings. A fight broke out and one of the attackers stabbed the male victim in the back. Both attackers fled with the bike and suitcase.Two bystanders heard the commotion near by and helped tr...>>
  • One airlifted after car rolls down embankment

    One airlifted after car rolls down embankment

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:07 AM EDT2014-09-16 05:07:20 GMT
    KETTLE FALLS, Wash. - A Northwest MedStar helicopter air lifted one person to Sacred Heart Medical Center after a car rolled down a steep embankment Monday night, according to Ferry County Sheriff Deputies. The crash happened at Deadman Creek Road in Kettle Falls around 9 p.m.. Two people in their 20's were in the car when it rolled down the embankment.>>
    KETTLE FALLS, Wash. - A Northwest MedStar helicopter air lifted one person to Sacred Heart Medical Center after a car rolled down a steep embankment Monday night, according to Ferry County Sheriff Deputies. The crash happened at Deadman Creek Road in Kettle Falls around 9 p.m.. Two people in their 20's were in the car when it rolled down the embankment.>>
  • Police ask anonymous tipster to call back

    Police ask anonymous tipster to call back

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:58:23 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Major Crimes Unit is asking for the public's help for more information on a fatal shooting that happened in August. Early on August 10, police found the body of 32-year-old Richard Amodio in the parking lot of the Howard Johnson Motel in North Spokane. The motel is on North Division Street just south of where it intersects with East Euclid Avenue.
    >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Major Crimes Unit is asking for the public's help for more information on a fatal shooting that happened in August. Early on August 10, police found the body of 32-year-old Richard Amodio in the parking lot of the Howard Johnson Motel in North Spokane. The motel is on North Division Street just south of where it intersects with East Euclid Avenue.

    >>