AWR Hawkins 12 Jun 2014
With violence from Sunni militants on the rise in western Iraq, the U.S. last month denied Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki's requests for military aid.
According to The New York Times, the Iraqi PM "secretly asked the Obama administration to consider carrying out airstrikes against extremist staging areas," only to be "rebuffed."
The importance of the requests is magnified by the June 10 capture of Mosul by an Al Qaeda splinter group.
National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan refuses to discuss specifics regarding Maliki's requests. "We are not going to get into the details of our diplomatic discussions," she said.
Meehan added, "The current focus of our discussions with the government of Iraq and our policy considerations is to build the capacity of the Iraqis to successfully confront [the militants]."