Late Thursday, President Barack Obama announced the authorization for American military commanders to use military force, if necessary, in the form of limited airstrikes inside Iraq. The airstrikes are intended to combat advances by the militant group ISIL, also known as the Islamic State or ISIS.
In a statement to the press, the president said:
“In recent days [ISIL has] continued to move throughout Iraq and have neared the city of Irbil where American diplomats and civilians serve at our consulate and American military personell advise Iraqi forces. To stop the advance on Irbil I have directed our military to take targeted strikes against ISIL terrorist convoys should they move toward the city.”
In addition to military action, the president authorized a humanitarian aid effort to provide food and water to Iraqi civilians who were stranded in the Sinjar mountains located in northern Iraq.
Obama later added, “I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq… American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq.”
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