November 12th, 2014
08:13 PM ET

Sources: President Obama seeks new strategy on ISIS, Assad

Senior U.S. officials and diplomats tell CNN President Obama has asked for a review of U.S. policy toward Syria, admitting his initial ISIS strategy was a miscalculation.

Sources: Obama seeks new Syria strategy review to deal with ISIS, Assad

The sources say the President has realized the defeat of ISIS cannot happen without the toppling of Syrian President Bashir al Assad.

Why this admission now?

OutFront, Senator Saxby Chambliss is the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee.

Filed under: International • Iraq • ISIS • News • Syria
November 10th, 2014
10:44 PM ET

Is President Obama's war against ISIS illegal?

Is the president's war against ISIS illegal?

Senator Rand Paul believes it is. The Kentucky Republican, who is eyeing a presidential run, wrote an op-ed in The Daily Beast, saying: "...this war is now illegal. It must be declared and made valid, or it must be ended. Congress has a duty to act, one way or the other."

OutFront, Elise Jordan, who is advising Senator Paul on foreign policy issues and Lanny Davis, former White House special counsel in the Clinton administration.

Filed under: Iraq • ISIS • News • Politics
November 7th, 2014
09:28 PM ET

Obama doubles U.S. troop levels in Iraq

The United States is doubling the number of troops on the ground in Iraq. The Pentagon said Friday it's sending up to 1,500 to help Iraqi troops who continue to struggle against ISIS with large sections of the country under militant control.

The Pentagon spokesman insisted to CNN that this latest ramp up is not mission creep.

"It's not mission creep at all," Rear Admiral John Kirby said. "Mission creep is when the mission changes or morphs into something that it didn't originally start out to be. This is very much in keeping with the missions that we have been performing in Iraq since June."

So if it's not mission creep, then what?

In June, President Barack Obama sent 300 advisers to Iraq. In September, he laid out a limited military engagement against ISIS with a pledge that it would not involve American troops fighting on the ground.

U.S. officials insist the troops are in a non combat role, but with the additional troop numbers there will be some 3,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq - on the ground and in harm's way.

In interview with CNN's Erin Burnett, Democratic Congressman John Garamendi, who is also a member of the House Armed Services Committee says Congress was informed about the additional troop deployment.

Filed under: International • Iraq • ISIS • News
October 29th, 2014
10:42 PM ET

Officials: Terror leaders in Syria survived U.S. airstrikes

(CNN) - The U.S. intelligence community now believes two key terrorist operatives targeted by the United States in the opening night of attacks in Syria are still alive and could be actively plotting, multiple officials tell CNN.

The operatives are key members of Khorasan Group, the al Qaeda affiliate entrenched in Syria that the United States has declared poses a great risk to American national security. One official with direct knowledge of the latest U.S. assessment said the working assumption now is that both Muhsin al-Fadhli, the leader of the group, and David Drugeon, a French jihadist and key member, who is believed to be a skilled bomb-maker, are alive. The United States does not know with certainty if they are injured.

An intelligence analyst with knowledge of the intelligence tells CNN "its 99.5% certain" they are alive.


Filed under: al Qaeda • International • Iraq • News • Syria
October 10th, 2014
09:49 PM ET

Official: Iraqi forces are "up against the wall" battling ISIS

ISIS is advancing in Iraq, despite weeks of U.S. airstrikes. The terror group is only about eight miles from Baghdad's airport. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Friday that a key province in Iraq is in trouble of falling. ISIS has been bearing down on Iraqi forces in Anbar province just west of Baghdad.

Iraqis 'up against the wall' as ISIS threatens province near Baghdad

CNN's Jim Sciutto has the latest.

Filed under: International • Iraq • ISIS • News
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