Obama: The Situation in Iraq 'Has Greatly Improved'

Displaced Iraqi Yazidi children play under a bridge in central Dahuk Thursday. Displaced Iraqi Yazidi children play under a bridge in central Dahuk Thursday. Khalid Mohammed/AP

President Obama announced "progress" in the American military's targeted operations in Iraq in a press statement Thursday from Martha's Vineyard, Mass. That said, the United States will continue airstrikes "to protect our people and facilities in Iraq."

On Wednesday night, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters that a humanitarian operation to send in U.S. ground troops to help escort thousands of Yazidi Iraqis off Mount Sinjar was "far less likely now" because of seemingly successful airstrikes and humanitarian airdrops. Defense Department officials told The New York Times that thousands of Yazidis have been able to escape ISIS's siege on the mountain, and that military advisers who were in the area for 24 hours have found that "the situation is much more manageable."

"The bottom line is," Obama said, "the situation on the mountain has greatly improved and Americans should be very proud of our efforts because [through] the skill and professionalism of our military and the generosity of our people, we broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar, and we helped save many innocent lives." Obama said that the success of these efforts means that his administration does not now expect to need an "additional operation to evacuate people off the mountain, and it's unlikely we're going to need to continue humanitarian air drops on the mountain."

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told the press earlier that the U.S. would consider sending in ground troops—but not combat troops—if those military advisers deemed it necessary to rescue Yazidis. The Obama administration has repeatedly insisted that no combat troops will be involved in the ongoing operation in Iraq.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.