Obama: 'There Is No American Military Solution To The Larger Crisis In Iraq'

08/11/2014 05:15 pm ET | Updated Aug 12, 2014
  • AP/The Huffington Post

President Barack Obama spoke on the situation in Iraq on Monday, reiterating that "there is no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq."

"The only lasting solution is for Iraqis to come together and form an inclusive government," Obama said, noting the U.S. has "stepped up military advice and assistance to Iraqi and Kurdish forces as they wage the fight against ISIL."

"The United States stands ready to support a government that addresses the needs and grievances of all of the Iraqi people," Obama said.

"We stand ready to partner with Iraq to fight against these terrorist forces," Obama continued.

On Thursday, Obama authorized U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq. On Monday, senior U.S. officials said the Obama administration had begun directly providing weapons to Kurdish forces, according to the AP.

Obama is currently on vacation in Martha's Vineyard. He's accompanied by national security adviser Susan Rice and deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, who are briefing the president on Iraq as well as the situations in Gaza and Ukraine.

Below, more from the AP:

CHILMARK, Mass. (AP) — President Obama is giving his approval to the appointment of a prime minister to replace Nouri al-Maliki and urging the formation of a new government in Iraq as soon as possible.

In brief remarks delivered at his vacation spot in Martha's Vineyard, Obama said he and Vice President Joe Biden had spoken with Haider al-Ibadi, who was designated prime minister by the new president.

Obama also said the United States had successfully carried out targeted air strikes to support Kurdish fighters in their battle against Islamist extremists, and conducted humanitarian relief missions to aid thousands of stranded women and children on a mountain in Iraq.

He said the only lasting solution in Iraq is the formation of an inclusive government.

See more updates on the situation in Iraq below:

08/16/2014 6:17 PM EDT

US Military: Fighters, Drone Aircraft Strike Militants In N Iraq

08/16/2014 6:07 PM EDT

Kurdish Officials Say 300 Killed In Friday 'Massacre'

Correspondent for Britain's The Sunday Times Hala Jaber reports that Kurdish and Yazidi officials say the death toll from the Islamic State's attack on the Iraq village of Kocho on Friday is higher than previously estimated. A Kurdish official initially said around 80 people lost their lives.

08/16/2014 5:57 PM EDT

British PM: Islamic State Militants Could Target UK

08/16/2014 4:49 PM EDT

NYT Correspondent Recounts Iraq Helicopter Crash

New York Times correspondent Alissa J. Rubin tells her story inside the Iraqi helicopter that crashed on the Sinjar mountains on Tuesday while attempting to rescue stranded Yazidis.

Rubin was wounded in the crash and dictated the article from her hospital bed in Istanbul, the newspaper notes.

Read her moving account on The New York Times here.

08/16/2014 2:23 PM EDT

Iraq Refugees Learn Of Yazidi Massacre

The BBC's Yalda Hakim reports from a refugee camp in Dohuk on how the Yazidi community learned of an alleged massacre by Islamic State militants in Iraq.

Watch the BBC report here.

08/16/2014 1:03 PM EDT

U.S. Provides Air Support To Kurdish Offensive

Kurdish forces, supported by U.S. warplanes, are battling to recaptured Iraq's largest dam from Islamic State militants, Agence France Presse reports.

More from AFP:

Kurdish forces attacked the Islamic State fighters who wrested the Mosul dam from them a week earlier, a general told AFP.

"Kurdish peshmerga, with US air support, have seized control of the eastern side of the dam" complex, Major General Abdelrahman Korini told AFP, saying several jihadists had been killed.

08/16/2014 12:54 PM EDT

The Kurdish Iraqi leader has appealed to Germany for weapons to battle the advancing Islamic State, Reuters reports.

From Reuters:

Germany has shied away from direct involvement in military conflicts for much of the post-war era and a survey conducted for Bild am Sonntag newspaper indicated that almost three quarters of Germans were against shipping weapons to the Kurds.

But Germany's defense minister has said the government was looking into the possibility of delivering military hardware.

Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, said the Kurds needed more than the humanitarian aid that Germany began sending on Friday to support people forced to flee their homes by the Sunni militant group's advance.

"We also expect Germany to deliver weapons and ammunition to our army so that we can fight back against the IS terrorists," Barzani told German magazine Focus. He said they needed German training and what they lacked most were anti-tank weapons.

08/16/2014 11:38 AM EDT

U.S.-Backed Kurds Attempt To Recapture Mosul Dam

08/16/2014 11:14 AM EDT

Airstrikes Target Islamic State After Reports Of Yazidi Massacre

The Associated Press reports:

Airstrikes pounded the area around Iraq's largest dam on Saturday in an effort to drive out militants who captured it earlier this month, as reports emerged of the massacre of some 80 members of the Yazidi religious minority by Islamic extremists.

Residents living near the Mosul Dam told The Associated Press that the area was being targeted by airstrikes, but it was not immediately clear whether the attacks were being carried out by Iraq's air force or the U.S., which last week launched an air campaign aimed at halting the advance of the Islamic State group across the country's north.

The extremist group seized the dam on the Tigris River on Aug. 7. Residents near the dam say the airstrikes killed militants, but that could not immediately be confirmed. The residents spoke on condition of anonymity out of fears for their safety.

08/15/2014 6:31 PM EDT

U.S. May Speed Up Aid To Iraq Despite Billions Already Spent

The United States may accelerate economic and military aid to Iraq now Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has stood down, Reuters reports.

U.S. officials first want assurances that the Iraqi government has moved away from the sectarian policies of al-Maliki's administration, according to the news agency.

Read the full story here.

This post has been updated with more from the AP.

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