President Barack Obama on Monday said “important progress” is being made in Iraq and that Kurdish and Iraqi forces have successfully retaken a strategically important dam from Islamic militants.
“This is going to take time, there are going to be many challenges ahead,” the president told reporters. “But meanwhile there should be no doubt that the United States military will continue to carry out the limited missions that I’ve authorized, protecting our personnel and facilities in Iraq.”
The U.S. military helped destroy key fighting positions held by Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. The dam is the largest in Iraq and is a key source of water and electricity.
Despite the success in recapturing the dam, the president warned Iraqi leaders “the wolf is at the door” and that it will ultimately be up to them to ensure the stability of the country.
“Our goal is to have effective partners on the ground, and if we have effective partners on the ground, mission creep is much less likely,” Obama said.
Obama said the U.S. is working with international partners to develop a long-term strategy to defeat ISIS and called on all Iraqis to reject the Islamic militants.
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-- Andrew Rafferty