President Barack Obama announced major progress against the Islamic State terrorists in Iraq Monday, as he spoke about ramped up air strikes.
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
“We have provided assistance to Iraqi forces coming including the Kurdish fighters on the front lines,” Obama announced. “Today, with our support to my Iraqi and Kurdish forces took a major step forward by recapturing the largest dam in Iraq near the city of Mosul. It fell under terrorist control this month and is vital to our objective of protecting Americans in Iraq.”
Obama said if the dam had come under Islamic State control, it could have been breached, causing catastrophe for Americans in Iraq and the citizens of the country.
Obama returned to the White House from his vacation at Martha's Vineyard for meetings with administration officials. He is returning to his vacation Tuesday.
Obama announced air strikes last month to address both the rising threat of the Islamic State militant Sunni group to the Iraqi government, while also providing humanitarian assistance to the religious minority Christian and Yazidi populations.
“This demonstrates that Iraqi and Kurdish forces are capable of working together in taking the fight to ISIL,” Obama said. “If they can need to do so, they will have a strong support of the United States of America.”