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Published On: Fri, Aug 8th, 2014

President Obama orders military action against ISIS in Iraq, ‘America is coming to help’

President Obama orders airstrikes in Iraq to push back ISIS/ISIL photo donkeyhotey  donkeyhotey@wordpress.com

President Obama orders airstrikes in Iraq to push back ISIS/ISIL photo donkeyhotey [email protected]

President Obama on Thursday announced he had authorized limited airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq, ISIS/ISIL, as the Kurdish captial of Erbil was overtaken.

“Today America is coming to help,” Obama announced.

Speaking at the White House Obama also said that American military aircraft had dropped food and water to tens of thousands of Iraqis trapped on a barren mountain range in northwestern Iraq, having fled the extremists, who threaten them with what Mr. Obama called “genocide.”

“Earlier this week, one Iraqi cried that there is no one coming to help,” Obama said in a statement delivered from the State Dining Room. “Well, today America is coming to help.”

“As commander in chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into another war in Iraq,” he clarified.

“There is no decision that I take more seriously than the use of military force,” Obama said. “And I’ve been careful to resist calls to return time and again to our military.”

The White House held off ordering military strikes in Iraq for nearly two months as Islamic extremists took over large portions of the country and threatened the government in Baghdad, which requested U.S. help.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi erupted into the headlines last month as the group called for a massive jihadist uprising, a caliphate and even an attack on Mecca. The video captured the chilling words and triggered a devastating campaign through Iraq, Syria and some neighboring Islamic countries. Check out that clip, more coverage – here.

Here’s a large portion of his statement:

First, I said in June — as the terrorist group ISIL began an advance across Iraq — that the United States would be prepared to take targeted military action in Iraq if and when we determined that the situation required it.  In recent days, these terrorists have continued to move across Iraq, and have neared the city of Erbil, where American diplomats and civilians serve at our consulate and American military personnel advise Iraqi forces.

To stop the advance on Erbil, I’ve directed our military to take targeted strikes against ISIL terrorist convoys should they move toward the city.  We intend to stay vigilant, and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate in Erbil and our embassy in Baghdad.  We’re also providing urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces so they can more effectively wage the fight against ISIL.

Second, at the request of the Iraqi government — we’ve begun operations to help save Iraqi civilians stranded on the mountain.  As ISIL has marched across Iraq, it has waged a ruthless campaign against innocent Iraqis.  And these terrorists have been especially barbaric towards religious minorities, including Christian and Yezidis, a small and ancient religious sect.  Countless Iraqis have been displaced.  And chilling reports describe ISIL militants rounding up families, conducting mass executions, and enslaving Yezidi women.

In recent days, Yezidi women, men and children from the area of Sinjar have fled for their lives.  And thousands — perhaps tens of thousands — are now hiding high up on the mountain, with little but the clothes on their backs.  They’re without food, they’re without water.  People are starving.  And children are dying of thirst.  Meanwhile, ISIL forces below have called for the systematic destruction of the entire Yezidi people, which would constitute genocide.  So these innocent families are faced with a horrible choice:  descend the mountain and be slaughtered, or stay and slowly die of thirst and hunger.

 

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. US airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq begin, airdrops of food and water also continue - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] to the President’s decision to intervene in Iraq on Thursday, ISIS have begun ravaging northern Iraq, claimed destruction of Jonah’s tomb in Nineveh and […]

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