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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said that U.S. airstrikes have successfully destroyed Islamic State arms and equipment moving against Kurdish forces in Iraq on Saturday, just hours before he was set to depart on a two-week vacation at Martha’s Vineyard.
“We feel confident we can keep ISIL from going up a mountain and slaughtering the people there,” he said in a statement from the White House.
Obama said the U.S. would continue to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees fleeing Islamic State forces, including “military assistance” to Kurdish forces outside of Irbil, Iraq.
The president added that British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande both expressed strong support for U.S actions in Iraq.
But ultimately, Obama said, a military solution did not exist for the current situation in Iraq, and that its people must come together to form a broader national government to address the problem.
“We continue to call on Iraqis to come together to form the inclusive government that Iraq needs now,” he said. “All Iraqi communities are ultimately threatened by these barbaric terrorists. All Iraqis need to unite to defend their country.”
Obama also said he was not “going to give a particular timetable” on how long U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State targets would last.
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