- The Washington Times - Monday, August 18, 2014

As U.S. forces continue an airstrike campaign against Islamist militants in Iraq, President Obama on Monday convened his national security team for a meeting on the crisis, though the White House has released no information on exactly what was discussed.

Mr. Obama returned to the White House late Sunday night, interrupting his two-week vacation at Martha’s Vineyard for a series of meetings in Washington. Later Monday, the president will meet with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss the Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown and subsequent violence and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

On Iraq, the White House said only that Mr. Obama met with Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, White House counselor John Podesta and a host of other national security officials.

The meeting comes as the U.S. continued to target strongholds of the Islamic State, the terrorist group that now controls key areas in Iraq and Syria.

Monday’s airstrikes focused on Islamic State territory around the Mosul Dam, Iraq’s largest dam and one that was captured by Islamic State forces earlier this month.

Despite the air campaign and the efforts of Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces, U.S. officials say the Islamic State has not entirely lost control of the dam, according to the Associated Press.

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