President Barack Obama has announced that the US will not only assist the Yazidis trapped in the Sinjar mountains, but also conduct airstrike against Islamic State militants. The US counter measure, however, seems to be aimed more at guarding its personal interest.
The US offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants is mainly to stop the stragetic advances made by the ISIS militants towards the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government.
Erbil is strategically important to US as the country maintains a large consulate, including a CIA station office and a military Joint Operations Command Centre in the region.
Prior to the ISIS move towards, Erbil, the capital was termed so-safe that the US government had asked its personnel at the Iraqi embassy to move to Erbil for safety, after the Islamic State militants took over large areas in Iraq and threatened Baghdad.
According a Vox report, the US finally made up its mind to engage in 'targeted' attacks on ISIS, as now the group poses threat to American interests, especially following its push towards the Kurdistan region.
There was much alarm raised after the Kurdish forces and ISIS fighters got into a heavy battle just 40 km southwest of the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil on Wednesday.
NBC exclusively reported early on Thursday that the US officials are "extremely concerned" by the advances made by ISIS forces in Iraq and are prepared to order airstrikes if the Islamic State attacked the Kurdish capital of Erbil.
Following which, later in the evening, President Obama in his nationally televised address categorically stated that he has authorised the US military to launch air strikes against ISIS militants in Iraq.
"When many thousands of innocent civilians are in danger of being wiped out, and we have the capacity to help, we will take action," he had said.
It could be said that the US was forced into taking a decisive step after Islamic State captured a string of towns that brought its forces within minutes away from Erbil, McClatchy reported.
There was also cause for concern as Makhmour, a town located between Erbil and the Iraqi city of Kirkuk to the south was taken over the Islamic State militants.
Another factor that could have contributed to the US involvement could be the capture of the dam, on the Tigris River about 30 miles northwest of Mosul. Since its capture there has been a fear that the Islamic militants could flood the northern region of Iraq.