US jets could launch airstrike in Iraq within 24 hours if so ordered: Report

Saturday, June 14, 2014
By Paul Martin
Sat Jun 14, 2014

The United States has positioned its military equipment in the Middle East to launch possible airstrikes against al-Qaeda-linked militants in Iraq at a 24-hour notice, former American military officials say.

On Friday, President Barack Obama that the US “will not be sending US troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraq’s security forces.”

Several retired US Air Force officials told The Daily Beast on Friday that any airstrikes, if ordered, could begin almost immediately.

“If you can provide me with the appropriate intelligence we can start doing (air strikes) within 24 hours,” said Lt. Gen. David Deptula, who served as the Air Force’s first deputy chief of staff for intelligence.

“There are a variety of means do this, whether you are talking about long-range, high-payload aircraft or smaller aircraft. With the requisite intelligence information you can start again in 24 hours,” he added.

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