WASHINGTON, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - Barack Obama should seek authorization from Congress before additional military action in Iraq, Representative Barbara Lee said. Democrat from California and leading co-sponsor of a House resolution approved in July calling on Obama to seek prior approval from Congress before escalating combat in Iraq.
“The President should come to Congress for authorization of any further military action in Iraq,” stated Congresswoman Lee in response to the news of US airstrikes in northwestern Iraq.
“I will continue to call for the President to seek congressional authorization before any combat operations. For too long, Congress has abdicated its Constitutional role in matters of war and peace,” said Lee, who is a Democrat from California and leading co-sponsor of a House resolution approved in July calling on Obama to seek prior approval from Congress before escalating combat in Iraq.
On Thursday, President Obama authorized limited airstrikes against ISIL militants in northwestern Iraq and also humanitarian aid to refugees. This further military action occurred while Congress was on its August recess. According to the language of House Concurrent Resolution 105, which passed the House July 25, “The President shall not deploy or maintain United States Armed Forces in a sustained combat role in Iraq without specific statutory authorization.”
Rep. Lee noted her concern that the limited airstrikes may become more complex, require further US commitment.
“While the President has existing authority to protect American diplomatic personnel, I remain concerned about US mission creep in Iraq and escalation into a larger conflict, which I oppose,” Lee concluded.
Other leading sponsors of HCR 105 could not be reached for comment. It is unclear whether other members of Congress will perceive the President’s recent airstrikes as violating the resolution, and whether there will be political consequences as a result.
According to Pentagon, the United States conducted two additional airstrikes on Islamic State extremists in Iraq on Friday.
The Islamic State is a Sunni group that has been fighting in Syria and launched an offensive in Iraq in June. The group has taken over large parts of the country, with the goal of seizing Baghdad. Also in June, the group announced the establishment of a caliphate on the Iraq-Syria border.
Iraqi Kurds have already re-established military cooperation with Baghdad in an effort to drive the IS fighters back. Like Moscow, the United Nations Security Council has called on all Iraqi communities to unite and respond to the threat to Iraq’s future.