In his weekly address Saturday morning, President Barack Obama laid out his thinking behind the recent American airstrikes in Iraq, and affirmed a major point: he’s not planning to send in troops.
“We’ve begun a humanitarian effort to help those Iraqi civilians trapped on [Mount Sinjar],” Obama said. “The terrorists that have taken over parts of Iraq have been especially brutal to religious minorities — rounding up families, executing men, enslaving women, and threatening the systematic destruction of an entire religious community, which would be genocide.”
The U.S. has dropped food and supplies to trapped minorities, as well as executing targeted airstrikes against the advancing forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“The United States cannot and should not intervene every time there’s a crisis in the world,” Obama said. “But when there’s a situation like the one on this mountain — when countless innocent people are facing a massacre, and when we have the ability to help prevent it — the United States can’t just look away.”
But despite the rapid takeover of large swaths of Iraq by the radical group ISIS, Obama said he would not retrace his predecessor’s footsteps and send American troops into the country.
“As Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq,” Obama said. “American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis there.”
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