Conflict-ridden Iraq will once again see American military presence with the United States announcing possible airstrikes to protect its personnel and Iraqi civilians from the Islamic State militants.
Stating that America will keep a vigil on the militants who have run over several towns in the Middle Eastern country, US President Barack Obama said in a special announcement on Thursday that he has authorised targeted air strikes if Americans in the country are at risk. The video of Obama's announcement was released through White House Twitter handle.
Tonight, President Obama delivered a statement on the situation in Iraq from the State Dining Room. Watch: http://t.co/WduJ3PTlFU
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 8, 2014
Obama said the US had the mandate for the intervention, which was on the request of the Iraqi government to address the crisis in the country and to prevent 'a potential act of genocide', citing the threat that hundreds of Yazidis face as they remain trapped on a mountain while fleeing ISIS forces.
"Today, America is coming to help", Obama said, in a public response to an Iraqi man's complaint earlier that no one was coming to help them.
"I had said in June, when ISIL began an advance across Iraq, that United States will be prepared to take any action in Iraq if and when we determine the situation requires it," he added.
"The terrorists have neared the city of Irbil where American diplomats serve in our consulate and where American military personnel are situated. The military will take targeted strikes on ISIS convoys should they move towards the city. We will also provide urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces to combat the militants."
However, the President reiterated that the US military intervention was not another war in Iraq on the lines of the decade of fighting in the Middle East nation before US troops withdrew in 2011.
"I ran for this office in part to end the Iraq war. As commander in chief, I will not allow United States to fight another war in Iraq as there is no military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq," he said, acknowledging that the authorised airstrikes could raise concerns of a war.
The US military has already begun carrying out humanitarian airdrops that have provided food and water supplies to thousands of trapped Yazidis. Minorities such as the Yazidis and Christians in Iraq are facing a devastating crisis as the Islamic State, previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has ordered everyone to convert to Islam or face tough sanctions, even death.
A video of an Iraqi Yazidi MP's emotional appeal for humanity against the 'genocide' of her people had thrown light on the situation of the minorities in the country.
Obama said the US was also consulting with other countries on the issue of protecting civilians from the militants.