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Obama Announces Airstrikes and Humanitarian Aid for Iraq, Rules Out Combat Troops

In an evening statement from the White House Thursday, President Barack Obama announced the authorization of both targeted military airstrikes, if necessary, against ISIS and humanitarian aid for religious minorities currently stranded on a mountaintop in the region without food, water or medicine.

“People are starving and children are dying of thirst,” Obama said, adding that ISIS is intent on committing genocide against the isolated Iraqis. “I have said before the United States cannot and should not intervene every time there’s a crisis in the world,” the president said. “So let me be clear about why we must act and act now.” With “innocent people facing violence on a horrific scale,” Obama said America “cannot turn a blind eye.”

“I ran for this office in part to end our war in Iraq and welcome our troops home and that’s what we have done,” Obama said. “As commander-in-chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq. So even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq.”

The president ended by heralding the United States’ “leadership” in the world and stressed that “America has other tools in our arsenal than our military.” He said “we can also lead with the power of our diplomacy, our economy, and our ideals.”

“But when the lives of American citizens are at risk, we will take action. That’s my responsibility as commander-in-chief,” Obama continued. “And when many thousands of innocent civilians are faced with the danger of being wiped out and we have the capacity to do something about it, we will take action. That is our responsibility as Americans.”

Watch video below, via Fox News:

[Photo via screengrab]

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