Before departing for Martha’s Vineyard for his annual vacation on Saturday, President Obama delivered a short statement on the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Iraq.
“Over the past two days,” he said, “American forces have conducted targeted airstrikes outside the city of Irbil.”
The airstrikes have "so far" stopped ISIL cold in its tracks, he declared, which is one of the reasons why the jihadist group hasn't slaughtered more of the country's ethnic minority population, many of whom are Christians.
At the same time, he said, “Our humanitarian effort continues to help the men, women, and children stranded on Mount Sinjar.”
That is to say, US forces have delivered two successful humanitarian airdrops in Northern Iraq, thus providing food and water to those trapped and fearing for their lives.
He also added that he spoke with the prime ministers of both Great Britain and France this morning. Both governments, he said, “have agreed to provide humanitarian assistance to those suffering in Iraq.”
Once again, however, the president emphasized that it wasn’t the responsibility of the US to bring democracy and stability to the war-torn nation.
“Ultimately only Iraqis can ensure the safety and security of Iraq,” he added.“[We] can’t do it for them.”
He also made it abundantly clear that the US will not be evacuating its embassy or consulate in the country, although the US will “maintain vigilance and ensure our people our safe.”
“We feel confident we can prevent ISIL from going up the mountain and slaughtering [the] people who are there," he said. But, he added, figuring out what to do with those stranded is going to be “logistically difficult” -- and may take "many months" to resolve.