President Obama authorized US air strikes against Islamist militants in the northern Iraq area and airdrops started to offer supplies to religious minorities in order to prevent a “potential act of genocide.” Targeted air power use was authorized in order to protect US personnel.
According to Barack Obama, the first air strikes carried out in Iraq by US military forces since the 2011 withdrawal can also be used in order to support Kurdish and Iraqi forces that try to break the sieges carried out by Islamists. He added:
“Earlier this week, one Iraqi in the area cried to the world, ‘There is no one coming to help’. Well, today America is coming to help.”
In a televised statement, Obama said that ground forces will not be involved and there is no intention to let US soldiers “get dragged into fighting another war in Iraq.”
The decision was taken as there is an international fear of a humanitarian catastrophe as there are thousands of people being forced out of their homes or stranded in the region due to the actions of an Al Qaeda splinter group.
Urgent appeals came from both Kurdish and Iraqi authorities in order to help stop the relentless advance of the Islamic State across the northern Iraq area. It is not know if the air strikes are enough to stop the assault.