According to Obama, he discussed this issue over the phone with British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande earlier in the day.
“I am pleased that both leaders expressed their strong support for actions and agreed to join us in providing humanitarian assistance to Iraqi civilians who are suffering so much,” the US president stressed.
In early June, following an offensive, launched by the Sunni group Islamic State (IS), Iraq faced a security threat. IS rebels previously fighting in Syria have taken over large parts of the country, with the goal of seizing Baghdad. Later, they were joined by Iraqi Sunnis, soldiers from Saddam Hussein's army and minor terrorist groups. In late June, the Islamic State announced the establishment of a caliphate on the territories it had captured in Iraq and Syria.
Earlier Obama said that IS forces that have come close to Erbil, the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan, aim to destroy the Kurdish minority community of Yezidis and Christians in northern Iraq, “which would constitute genocide.”
According to the US leader, he authorized targeted air strikes against Islamic militants in Iraq to defend Yezidis, the American consulate and its employees in Erbil. At least three of such airstrikes were carried out on Friday.