President: we can not turn blind eye to genocide
WASHINGTON- In an address to the nation that interrupted television shows Thursday, the president said he authorized the U.S. military to carry out airstrikes in Iraq against Islamic militants if they advance toward the critical city of Irbil, where the U.S. has a consulate and a military operations center.
"We intend to stay vigilant, and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate in Irbil and our embassy in Baghdad. We're also providing urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces so they can more effectively wage the fight against ISIL," the president said.
The ISIL is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a group made up of jihadists.
Obama, speaking from the White House, said the U.S. military has already started dropping food, water and supplies to thousands members of a religious minority trapped on a mountain top by the Sunni extremist group.
Obama said the U.S. can't turn a blind eye to potential genocide. But he also said that the U.S. will not send combat forces into Iraq.
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