Obama on Defeating IS: We Have the Will but Not the Way
|August 30, 2014||Filled under Iraq Daily News|
Iraq Daily News -
President Barack Obama has emphasized that the Islamic State (IS/formerly ISIS or ISIL) “cancer” must be stopped, but admitted that America “does not have a strategy yet” on how to do so.
At a White House press conference, the president ruled out imminent airstrikes on IS positions in Syria.
“ISIL poses an immediate threat to the people of Iraq, and the people of the region,” Obama said. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse: we don’t have a strategy yet. We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans, that we’re developing them,” he added.
Earlier this month Obama authorized airstrikes and airdrops in Iraq to protect US interests and support local forces operating against IS, according airstrikes in support of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces as the militants neared Erbil.
Obama reaffirmed that IS must be defeated: “This cancer that has developed is one that they have to be just as invested in defeating as we are,” he said, referring to Middle East countries directly fighting the militants.
Meanwhile, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the US is weighing options to break the siege of the Turkmen town of Amerli, where hundreds are reportedly starving under an IS siege for two months.
‘We are very concerned about the dire conditions for the mainly Turkmen population in Amerli,” Psaki said. “We’re focused on reviewing options to assess how we can best help alleviate the situation in Amerli,” she added.
“Our embassy and military personnel at our joint operation centers in Iraq are already working closely with the Iraqi Government to share information and discuss ways to provide relief to those in need, and certainly we’re having ongoing internal discussions as well,” she added.
US military operations to assist the Iraqi and Kurdish troops continue against IS militants.
According to the Pentagon, US fighter jets conducted five airstrikes against the IS around the strategic Mosul Dam. It said US aircraft have conducted 106 airstrikes across Iraq against IS positions in total.
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