US airstrikes have destroyed IS arms - Obama

Washington - President Barack Obama said on Saturday that airstrikes he ordered in northern Iraq have destroyed arms and equipment held by Islamic State forces whose rapid advance has surpassed US intelligence estimates.

Obama warned Americans that the new campaign in Iraq "is going to be a long-term project". He wouldn't give a timetable for how long the US military involvement would last, saying it depends on Iraq's political efforts.

"I don't think we are going to solve this problem in weeks," Obama said. "I think this is going to take some time."

The president said humanitarian efforts continue to airdrop food and water to persecuted religious minorities stranded on a mountaintop, and he said planning was underway for how to get them down.

Obama made his comments on the South Lawn of the White House Saturday, just before boarding his Marine One helicopter to depart for his summer vacation in Massachusetts.

Obama sharply rejected the premise that it was his decision to pull out from Iraq and said it was because Iraqis didn't want US troops there.

He repeated that the US is not going to have us combat troops in Iraq again. "We are going to maintain that because we should have learned a lesson from our long and immensely costly incursion into Iraq," Obama said.

The president said there's "no doubt" the Islamic State advance on the Kurdish capital of Irbil "has been more rapid than the intelligence estimates".

US military jets launched several airstrikes on Friday on isolated targets, including two mortar positions and a vehicle convoy.

US officials announced on Friday night the second airdrop of food and water in as many days for the imperilled refugees.

- AP
Read more on: is barack obama iraq
Chris Du Preez 2014-08-09 08:18:32 PM
Killing a couple of gunners is fine, but don't solve the question who is sponsoring this, where the weapons, ammo, vehicles etc are coming from.
Johan Kotze 2014-08-09 08:20:07 PM
Obama funds them, arms them and then conveniently bombs them! How now brown cow? Political intrigue makes strange bedfellows.
Nukki Green068 2014-08-09 08:38:52 PM
Russia, China etc., communist countries I guess?
Rice Safari 2014-08-09 09:20:33 PM
Seems Obama is desperate to win some credibility, by finally making a decision. Too little too late... His credibility is already down the toilet, but he is too self absorbed to notice.
Liber Tarian 2014-08-09 10:18:41 PM
Seems like Johan Kotze and Vox are the only ous making sense. To the rest of you...why would Barack O assist ISIS in Syria and bomb the s*** out of them in Iraq?
Nukesta 2014-08-10 07:18:11 AM
I pray that one day you may experience God's love and peace in your life. God bless.
Gobo Lance 2014-08-10 11:39:30 AM
I wish to God I could go back about 2 years when 90% of you idiots were supporting these very people against Assad, and I was warning you that you had no clue what was going on and I was called every name under the sun. Well, just as I predicted, the opponents of Assad have shown their true colors. Happy now, retards? You know who you are.
Rice Safari 2014-08-10 12:20:24 PM
It would be surprising if the US air strikes did not destroy any IS arms and equipment. I am not sure why the president thinks it is important to announce they destroyed SOME arms and equipment. Methinks the cost of the air strikes was hugely more than the value of the seven IS vehicles that were destroyed.