Congressman Keith Ellison

Representing the 5th District of Minnesota

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Rep. Ellison Statement on Operations in Northern Iraq

Aug 9, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Rep. Ellison released the following statement today after President Obama announced that United States armed forces were engaging in humanitarian and military operations in Northern Iraq.

“The situation in Northern Iraq is horrifying,” Rep. Ellison said. “ISIL is slaughtering ethnic and religious minorities, including Yazidis, Kurds, and Christians, throughout the region. Thousands are fleeing and major cities like Irbil are in danger of attack.

“The Yazidi people under siege without food, water, and shelter need assistance; I fully support the humanitarian airdrops of supplies that the President has ordered.

“There are hundreds of American diplomatic and military personnel in northern Iraq and they must be protected. Like many Americans, I am wary of mission creep and the possibility of being further embroiled in a situation that has no military solution; any American military intervention in Iraq should be limited in scope and duration. Moreover, nations with the power to act have a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and American involvement in Iraq should involve the international community.

“If military operations in Iraq continue, the President should seek Congressional authorization for further engagement. Congress has made it clear that the President does not have unlimited authority for military action.”