Obama speaks on using airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Obama speaks on using airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel

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President Barack Obama speaks about protecting U.S. personnel and helping Iraqis. (Source:CNN) President Barack Obama speaks about protecting U.S. personnel and helping Iraqis. (Source:CNN)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - No ground troops in Iraq. That's the message President Barack Obama delivered over and over at a White House briefing Saturday.

But he said the U.S. will use airstrikes against Isis and humanitarian airdrops to protect U.S. personnel and help Iraqis in danger.

The president said both Britain and France have agreed to help the U.S. provide humanitarian assistance.

"Wherever and whenever U.S. personnel are and facilities are threatened, it's my obligation, my responsibility as commander-in-chief, to make sure that they are protected. And we're not moving our embassy anytime soon. We're not moving our consulate anytime soon, and that means that given the challenging security environment, we're gonna maintain vigilance and ensure that our people are safe," Obama said.

Obama said there have been successful air drops made to men and women in need.

"American forces have so far conducted two successful air drops; delivering thousands of meals and gallons of water to these desperate men, women, and children. And American aircraft are positioned to strike Isis terrorists around the mountain to help forces in Iraq break the siege and rescue those who are trapped there," he said.

Obama also acknowledged the advancement of Isis.

"'Did we underestimate Isis?' Obama asked. “I think that there is no doubt that their advance, their movement over the last several months, has been more rapid than the intelligence estimates and, I think, the expectations of policymakers both in and outside of Iraq. And part of that is, I think, not a full appreciation of the degree to which the Iraqi security forces, when they're far away from Baghdad, did not have the incentive or the capacity to hold to ground against an aggressive adversary."

Obama said the Iraqi problem is not one that the U.S. military can solve.

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