US President Obama authorizes airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq
Friday, August 8, 2014
appeared in the State Dining Room at the Thursday night saying he was authorizing two operations in against the (ISIL) insurgency. They were launched to help religious minorities who are trapped on a mountain without food and water that are "facing almost certain death," according to Obama.
The first operation is targeted airstrikes against ISIL, and the second operation is to provide humanitarian aid to those trapped on the mountain. Regarding the airstrikes Obama said, "We intend to stay vigilant, and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate inand our ." He added, "We’re also providing urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces so they can more effectively wage the fight against ISIL."
In regards to the humanitarian aid operation, which had already started before Obama made the announcement, he said, "Second, at the request of the Iraqi government — we've begun operations to help save Iraqi civilians stranded on the mountain." He continued saying, "Already, American aircraft have begun conducting humanitarian airdrops of food and water to help these desperate men, women and children survive."
|I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq.|
Obama empathized that ground troops will not be returning to Iraq saying, "As Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq. And so even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq." Currently, there are 700 US soldiers in Iraq, mostly there to guard the US embassy and thein , facilities in Erbil, and to assess the capabilities of the .
The humanitarian airdrops were undertaken by "aand two airlifters escorted by [F/A-18] Super Hornets," according to the Department of Defense.
According to a statement sent out by Rear Admiral John Kirby, thepress secretary, "Two aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil. ISIL was using this artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending Erbil where U.S. personnel are located," early Friday morning.
- Karen DeYoung and Loveday Morris. "Obama authorizes possible airstrikes against Iraq" — , August 8, 2014
- Press Release: "Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby on Airstrikes in Iraq" — , August 8, 2014
- Jim Garamone (Obama Authorizes Air Operations in Iraq" — , August 7, 2014 ). "
- Press Release: "Statement by the President" — , August 7, 2014