Obama: ISIS ‘Poses a Threat to All Iraqis & Entire Region’
President Barack Obama this afternoon addressed the situation in Iraq, where he said U.S. airstrikes over the last 11 days have stopped the advancing of ISIS.
Obama said that the U.S. has provided additional arms and assistance to Kurdish and Iraqi security forces fighting on the front lines. Today, those forces have taken back a key dam in Mosul from ISIS. If it had been breached by the terrorists, Obama said it would have proven catastrophic.
The president said that through this, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have proven that they are capable of working together against ISIS. If they continue to do so, the U.S. will continue to support them.
Obama said the nation is also building an international coalition to address Iraq’s humanitarian crisis, as hundreds of thousands are displaced by the violence, and many more are still at risk. The U.S. will work with the Iraqi government, the U.K., France, Italy and Australia to get food, water and long-term relief to civilians. Obama said the U.S. will also “continue to pursue a long-term strategy to turn the tide against ISIL.”
The president explained that Iraq’s new prime minister must create a new, inclusive government to address the interests of all Iraqis.
“Without that progress, extremists like ISIL can continue to prey upon Iraq’s divisions,” he said.
“ISIL poses a threat to all Iraqis and to the entire region. They claim to represent Sunni grievances but they slaughter Sunni men, women and children. They claim to oppose foreign forces but they actively recruit foreign fighters to advance their hateful ideology.”
The Iraqi people must reject ISIS and unite against them, Obama said.
Watch his remarks above.