Jun 22, 2014
US flying F-18 surveillance missions over Iraq
It was already known that the Obama administration had authorized "manned and unmanned" surveillance flights, but F-18's are not traditional surveillance aircraft -- they are attack aircraft.
The White House said Obama reviewed with lawmakers "our efforts to strengthen the capacity of Iraq's security forces to confront the threat from [ISIS], including options for increased security assistance."
ISIS, an offshoot of Al Qaeda, has seized Mosul, Tikrit and other Iraqi towns as members of the Iraqi military abandon their posts. The Iraqi government reportedly has appealed for the Obama administration to launch airstrikes.
Iraqi security forces are now less capable than when the US president withdrew the entirety of forces without successfully negotiating a remaining U.S. presence capable of preserving and mentoring.