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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

US could launch drone strikes in Iraq: Kerry

Iran Press TV

Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:5PM GMT

US Secretary of State John Kerry says drone strikes "may well be" an option to help stop the al-Qaeda-linked militants' advance towards the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

In an interview with Yahoo! News on Monday, Kerry called the militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) "an existential challenge" to Iraq and a threat to the stability of the entire Middle East region.

He said President Barack Obama was considering "every option that is available," including drone strikes, adding that "we are deeply committed to the integrity of Iraq as a country."

"They're not the whole answer, but they may well be one of the options that are important," Kerry said. "When you have people murdering, assassinating in these mass massacres, you have to stop that. And you do what you need to do if you need to try to stop it from the air or otherwise."

The ISIL militants have taken control of some key northern Iraqi cities including Mosul, the country's second-largest city, and Tikrit, the birthplace of former Baathist dictator Saddam Hussein.

The militants, who have posted pictures of their atrocious acts against Iraqis online, have vowed to continue their offensive towards the capital Baghdad but Iraqi armed forces have advanced toward their strongholds.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has warned that the militants have nowhere to hide.

Maliki has said that the country's security forces would confront the terrorists, calling Mosul seizure a "conspiracy.'

He has blamed Saudi Arabia and Qatar for the security crisis and growing terrorism in his country, denouncing Riyadh as a major supporter of global terrorism.

On Friday, Obama said he was reviewing military options to help the Iraqi government fight the militants. Next day, the Pentagon ordered three warships to move into the Persian Gulf to provide Obama with options should he decide to launch airstrikes against the militants.

GJH/AGB



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