Just before he headed off to Martha's Vineyard for another vacation, President Obama explained the situation in Iraq (standing in front of the impressive Presidential helicopter) careful to use the phrase 'men, women, and children' numerous times. He called on Iraqis to unite against militants (subtley suggesting the reason the Iraq military ran away was because of a dis-united government). Crucially, he noted Iraq's Islamic State "problem will not be solved in weeks."
- *OBAMA DECLINES TO GIVE TIMETABLE ON LENGTH OF MISSION
- *OBAMA CALLS ON IRAQIS TO UNITE AGAINST MILITANTS
- *OBAMA SAYS `NEXT STEP' IS SAFE PASSAGE FOR REFUGEES
- *OBAMA REITERATES `NO U.S. COMBAT TROOPS IN IRAQ AGAIN'
- *OBAMA SAYS U.S. MILITARY CAN `KEEP A LID ON PROBLEMS'
- *OBAMA SAYS IRAQ IS GOING TO BE `A LONG TERM PROJECT'
- *OBAMA SAYS NO U.S. TROOPS LEFT IN IRAQ BECAUSE GOVT DIDN'T WANT
- *OBAMA SAYS `BOGUS' TO SAY LACK OF U.S. TROOPS CAUSED CRISIS
President Barack Obama says U.S. airstrikes in Iraq have succeeded in destroying arms and equipment that could have been used against the Kurdish capital of Irbil.
He says humanitarian efforts continue to airdrop food and water to persecuted religious minorities stranded on a mountaintop, and he says planning is underway for how to get them down.
Obama wouldn't give a timetable for how long the U.S. military involvement would last, saying it depends on Iraqi political efforts.
He says it won't be weeks but will take some time.
Obama also says the advance of the Islamic State forces was more rapid than anticipated.
Obama made his comments on the South Lawn of the White House Saturday, just before boarding Marine One for his summer vacation in Massachusetts.
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