President Obama says airstrikes in Iraq will be a 'long-term project'
NBC News - U.S. air missions and aid deliveries to Iraq will continue as long as needed, but U.S. airstrikes have already destroyed weapons the militant Islamist rebels could have used to launch new attacks, President Barack Obama said Saturday.
Saying fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham had advanced on the strategic northern city of Erbil more rapidly than the U.S. had expected, Obama said in a nationally televised news conference from the South Lawn of the White House: "I don't think we're going to solve this problem in weeks. This is going to be a long-term project."
Obama stressed that "we will not have troops again in Iraq," but he said he was determined not only to "protect our American citizens in Iraq" but also to prevent "an act of genocide" against the refugees.
He said the United Kingdom and France had agreed to join the U.S. in providing humanitarian assistance.
U.S. jets launched airstrikes Friday on isolated targets to stem the advance of fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, who have trapped tens of thousands of Christians and ethno-religious Yazidi on a mountaintop in northern Iraq.
The U.S. also said it made a second airdrop of food and water Friday to the refugees.