MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) – US President Barack Obama in his weekly address said that if necessary the airstrikes targeting Iraqi extremists will continue in order to protect American personnel in the northern city or Erbil, Agence France-Presse reported Saturday.
"And, if necessary, that’s what we will continue to do," Obama said.
Obama underlined that Kurdish minority group of Yezidis and Christians living in northern Iraq are facing the threat of genocide from the hands of militants of the Islamic State (IS), formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). Earlier on August 7, Obama authorized targeted strikes against IS military sites. At least three of such airstrikes were carried out on Friday.
The Islamic State is a Sunni group that has been fighting in Syria and launched an offensive in Iraq in June. The group has taken over large parts of the country, with the goal of seizing Baghdad. Also in June, the group announced the establishment of a caliphate on the Iraq-Syria border.
Iraqi Kurds have already re-established military cooperation with Baghdad in an effort to drive the IS fighters back. Like Moscow, the United Nations Security Council has called on all Iraqi communities to unite and respond to the threat to Iraq’s future.