Obama says Iraqi government must unify against ISIL
Saturday, August 09, 2014 - 00:59
President Barack Obama reiterates position that Iraqi government be formed and finalized to lead fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday (August 9) U.S. airstrikes have destroyed arms and equipment that Islamic State insurgents could have used to attack Arbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital.
He declined to give a timetable for the duration of the current operation in Iraq, beyond saying it would not be just weeks and that it would depend on the Iraqi government.
"In the absence of an Iraqi government, it is very hard to get a unified effort by Iraqis against ISIL. We can conduct airstrikes, but ultimately, there's not going to be an American military solution to this problem. There's going to have to be an Iraqi solution that America and other allies support. That can't happy effectively happen until you have a legitimate Iraqi government," Obama said during a brief news conference before leaving Washington for a two-week vacation.
He said the United States would continue to provide military assistance and advice to the Baghdad government and Kurdish forces, but stressed repeatedly the importance of Iraq forming its own inclusive government.
"It would be a big mistake for us to think that we can on the cheap simply go in, tamp everything down again, restart without some fundamental shift in attitudes among various Iraqi factions. That's why it's so important to have an Iraqi government on the ground that is taking responsibility," Obama said.
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