President Obama is considering using airstrikes or dropping food and water to help the tens of thousands of Iraqis driven onto a mountaintop by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, reports The New York Times.
About 40,000 religious minorities are trapped on Mt. Sinjar after receiving death threats from ISIS, and many have already died of heat and thirst. ISIS fighters remain at the base of the mountain, and the president is weighing a range of aid options, including airstrikes or airdrops of food and medicine, reported The New York Times.
“The situation is nearing a humanitarian catastrophe,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest in a briefing Thursday afternoon. “Tens of thousands have been displaced.”
Earnest confirmed The New York Times report and said officials in Iraq and the U.S. are “closely monitoring the situation,” but ruled out any possibility of boots on the ground or a change in the president’s overall strategy in Iraq.
“It is a situation we are deeply concerned about,” Earnest said.