President Obama says U.S. Effort in Iraq Not Short Term
The U.S. airstikes destroying the arms and equipment of the Islamic State insurgents. It won’t be an effort with a set timeline. United States President Obama has ordered in U.S. Warplanes to attack ISIS targets in Iraq. The White House states that despite the progress in these individual strikes in northern Iraq, they are warning against setting a timetable for American engagement in Iraq.
“I don’t think we’re going to solve this problem in weeks, if that’s what you mean. I think this is going to take some time,” stated the President.
The Islamic State has been moving toward Arbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital, where the U.S. has a consulate is a major concern for Obama. “Wherever and whenever U.S. personnel are threatened, it’s my responsibility to make sure they’re threatened,” continued the President.
Thousands of the Yazidi religious sect have fled but still face danger. The Kurdish military has managed to rescue some, but many more remain vulnerable.
Speaking to reporters, the President said, “We will protect our American citizens in Iraq, whether they’re diplomats, civilians or military. If these terrorists threaten our facilities or our personnel, we will take action to protect our people. We will continue to provide military assistance and advice to the Iraqi government and Kurdish forces as they battle these terrorists, so that the terrorists cannot establish a permanent safe haven.
“We will continue to work with the international community to deal with the growing humanitarian crisis in Iraq. Even as our attention is focused on preventing an act of genocide and helping the men and women and children on the mountain, countless Iraqis have been driven or fled from their homes, including many Christians.
“This morning, I spoke with Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom and President Hollande of France. I’m pleased that both leaders expressed their strong support for our actions and have agreed to join us in providing humanitarian assistance to Iraqi civilians who are suffering so much. Once again, America is proud to act alongside our closest friends and allies.
“More broadly, the United Nations in Iraq is working urgently to help respond to the needs of those Iraqis fleeing from areas under threat. The U.N. Security Council has called on the international community to do everything it can to provide food, water and shelter. And in my calls with allies and partners around the world, I’ll continue to urge them to join us in this humanitarian effort”.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said, “I am extremely concerned by the appalling situation in Iraq and the desperate situation facing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. And I utterly condemn the barbaric attacks being waged by ISIL terrorists across the region. I am especially concerned for the minority Yazidi community now trapped on Mount Sinjar, where they have fled for their lives. They fear slaughter if they descend back down the slopes but face starvation and dehydration if they remain on the mountain. The world must help them in their hour of desperate need”.
“I welcome President Obama’s decision to accept the Iraqi government’s request for help and to conduct targeted US airstrikes, if necessary, to help Iraqi forces as they fight back against ISIL terrorists to free the civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar. And I fully agree with the President that we should stand up for the values we believe in – the right to freedom and dignity, whatever your religious beliefs”.
FILES: DAILY MOTION / REUTERS / WHITE HOUSE / #10 Downing Street