Iraq Signals Openness to U.S. Airstrikes Against al Qaeda, U.S. Officials Say

And who will pay the bill? Bombs and lives?


A burnt vehicle is seen during clashes between Iraqi security forces and al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 10, 2014. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

The Wall Street Journal
By Adam Entous
and Julian E. Barnes
11 June 2014

WASHINGTON—Iraq has privately signaled to the Obama administration that it would allow the U.S. to conduct airstrikes with drones or manned aircraft against al Qaeda militant targets on Iraqi territory, senior U.S. officials said Wednesday.

The Obama administration is considering a number of options, including the possibility of providing "kinetic support" for the Iraqi military fighting al Qaeda rebels who seized two major cities north of Baghdad this week, according to a senior U.S. official who added that no decisions have been made.

Officials declined to say whether the U.S. would consider conducting airstrikes with drones or manned aircraft.

Iraq has long asked the U.S. to provide it with drones that could be used in such strikes, but Washington has balked at supplying them, officials said.

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