House Speaker John Boehner on Friday criticized President Barack Obama for what he called the lack of a coherent strategy to deal with the threat posed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), as the U.S. conducted an airstrike in the northern region of the country.
Boehner expressed support for Obama's decision to authorize airstrikes against ISIS targets, but said it was becoming clear the Obama administration did not have a coherent strategy to deal with the "grave threat" posed by ISIS in the broader Middle East.
"The president’s authorization of airstrikes is appropriate, but like many Americans, I am dismayed by the ongoing absence of a strategy for countering the grave threat ISIS poses to the region," Boehner said in a statement.
"Vital national interests are at stake, yet the White House has remained disengaged despite warnings from Iraqi leaders, Congress, and even members of its own administration. Such parochial thinking only emboldens the enemy and squanders the sacrifices Americans have made. The president needs a long-term strategy — one that defines success as completing our mission, not keeping political promises — and he needs to build the support to sustain it. If the president is willing to put forward such a strategy, I am ready to listen and work with him. For now, I wish Godspeed to all our men and women participating in these operations."
Obama announced on Thursday night his decision to authorize limited, targeted airstrikes against ISIS fighters, saying they could be necessary to protect threatened American personnel and help Iraqi forces in the country's Kurdish region. He also said the U.S. military had conducted an operation to deliver humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of religious minorities trapped on Mount Sinjar.
On Friday morning, the U.S. struck ISIS artillery near the Kurdish capital of Erdil, where U.S. personnel are located. Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement that the operation was conducted at approximately 6:45 a.m. ET. Two F/A 18 fighter aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near the Kurdish capital of Erbil.
Obama has come under repeated criticism from Republicans in Congress amid the rapidly unfolding crisis in Iraq over the past few months.
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