U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the situation in Iraq in this weekend’s weekly address, discussing his authorization of military air strikes on ISIS rebel fighters in Iraq, as well as a humanitarian mission that resulted in a drop of food and water in the northern section of Iraq for a displaced group on a mountain in the country. The group includes thousands, some of whom are children.
Obama’s Iraq address this weekend explained in detail why he decided to commence airstrikes against ISIS.
“… I directed our military to take action to protect our American diplomats and military advisors serving in the city of Erbil. In recent days, terrorist forces neared the city. Thursday night, I made it clear that if they attempted to advance further, our military would respond with targeted strikes. That’s what we’ve done. And, if necessary, that’s what we will continue to do. We have Americans serving across Iraq, including our embassy in Baghdad, and we’ll do whatever is needed to protect our people.”
The president also addressed the reason for the food drops, with Obama explaining why America is involving itself in the situation in Iraq just a few short years after he pulled American troops out of the nation.
“The thousands—perhaps tens of thousands — of Iraqi men, women and children who fled to that mountain were starving and dying of thirst. The food and water we airdropped will help them survive. I’ve also approved targeted American airstrikes to help Iraqi forces break the siege and rescue these families. Earlier this week, one anguished Iraqi in this area cried to the world, ‘There is no one coming to help.’ Today, America is helping.”
The president’s weekly address comes just a few hours before he was to leave on a trip to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
Obama is currently speaking the White House Press Corps, according to video streaming live on The Huffington Post, where he is explaining his choices to involve American military forces in Iraq.
The involvement of the U.S. military, which he has said previously would not involve American ground troops, comes as reports have said ISIS is beheading children in the nation and causing many of the country’s Christian population to flee. My previous report on the beheadings said Christians are facing certain death if they do not convert to Islam. At this point, there is no word on how many, if any, individuals have been possibly executed for failure to convert to Islam.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]