Rep. Ed Royce: Obama Waited Too Long in Iraq

Image: Rep. Ed Royce: Obama Waited Too Long in Iraq

Friday, 20 Jun 2014 08:04 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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President Barack Obama’s response to the crisis in Iraq is too little, too late to bring the situation under control, said Rep. Ed Royce, a California Republican who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

"The Iraqis have been requesting U.S. drone strikes against terrorist camps for nearly a year, and this administration has repeatedly said no, even as they have captured town after town," Royce said earlier his week, accusing the Obama administration of being "disengaged" and having "willfully ignored well-known threats," The Hill reported.

Obama announced plans Thursday to send 300 military advisers to Iraq to help the country defend itself against the Sunni terrorist organization ISIS, or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has overtaken several cities and is closing in on Baghdad.

Obama, who withdrew American troops from Iraq in 2011, justified a U.S. presence there by saying ISIS poses a threat to both Iraqis and the United States, according to The New York Times, which reported that the United States is prepared to take "targeted and precise military action" and airstrikes that could extend into Syria.

Royce has been critical of the president’s approach to Iraq and said Thursday that the current response "underestimates the seriousness of the threat" and accused the administration of ignoring intelligence it had on ISIS months ago, according to The Hill.

A senior U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Times that the plans call for the U.S. military "to go in there and get us a little bit better sense of the state, the cohesiveness and the capability of Iraqi security forces."

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