Arkansas politicians weigh in on Iraqi air strikes and aid
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. military has dropped food and water for a third time to thousands of Iraqi refugees stranded on Mount Sinjar.U.S. Central Command said in a statement Saturday night that the latest airdrop involved planes from multiple air bases and included one C-17 and two C-130 cargo planes. Fighter aircraft flew in support of the airdrop.Officials say the aircraft delivered 72 bundles of supplies, including more than 3,800 gallons of water and more than 16,000 meals.Earlier Saturday, U.S. officials said that American fighter jets conducted four air strikes against Iraqi militants firing on civilians in the Sinjar area.Central Command says the U.S. military will continue to work with the State Department, the Iraqi government, the United Nations and others to assess the need for additional humanitarian aid.
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor expressed his concern about the situation in Iraq.
"I commend the troops who at great risk to themselves delivered critical food and water to religious minorities trapped on Mount Sinjar. But like many Arkansans, I have serious reservations about the potential for escalating U.S. military involvement in Iraq. U.S. air strikes provide short-term relief, but the long-term solution to Iraq must come from the Iraqi government and people, not the U.S. military," said Pryor.
Representative Tom Cotton, who served in Iraq also weighed in on the airstrikes.
"We must protect our American personnel and do what we can to stop religious genocide, but it is President Obama's lack of leadership or strategy that has enabled Al-Qaida to regain so much influence across the Middle East. President Obama must articulate a strategy to defeat ISIS and protect American interests," said Cotton.