Obama gave an update on the military operations launched in Iraq last week in a statement from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts on Thursday. According to Obama the U.S. military “almost flawlessly” completed the humanitarian mission to protect the members of the Yazidi religious minority who were beseiged by jihadists affiliated with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL) on a mountain in the northern part of the country.
“We broke the siege of Mount Sinjar,” Obama said.
Last week, Obama authorised two military operations in Iraq, an effort to protect Americans in the city of Erbil as ISIS advanced on the city and what he described as a “humanitarian mission” to aid the Yazidis.
According to Obama, the military launched airstrikes against “ISIL targets around the mountains” that enabled “thousands of people” to evacuate from Mount Sinjar. He also said the military conducted air drops of food and water “every night.” Due to the success of these missions, Obama said he did not “expect” there would be additional helicopter evacuations on the mountain and that it would be “unlikely” the Yazidis would need more air drops.
Though he described the humanitarian mission on Mount Sinjar as largely successful Obama noted the “situation remains dire for Iraqis subject to ISIL terror around the country.” He reiterated his prior statements that the situation in Iraq will improve if the country forms a more “inclusive” government without former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Obama said he was “modestly hopeful” the situation with Iraq’s government would improve now that the country appointed a new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, on Monday.
“He still has a challenging task in putting a government together,” Obama said of al-Abadi.
Obama also made remarks about the ongoing clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.
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