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Obama Applauds Naming of New Prime Minister Designate in Iraq

Mon, 11 Aug 2014 21:39:10 +0000

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass.) -- The president on Monday lauded Iraqi President Fouad Massoum for naming Haider al-Ibadi as Iraq's new prime minister-designate, calling it an "important step" on the path towards a more inclusive government.

Mobilizing international support to combat terrorism in the region would be "easier" once a new government was put into place, the president said.

"I urge all Iraqi political leaders to work peacefully through the political process in the days ahead," Obama said during a news conference while vacationing in Martha's Vineyard.

The president also reiterated his commitment "to partner in Iraq against...terrorist forces" in Iraq.

With the militant group ISIS poised to attack the Iraqi Kurdish city of Erbil, President Obama authorized several rounds of airstrikes late last week.

The strikes, deemed necessary to protect the U.S. consulate in Erbil as well as locals fleeing ISIS, wiped out militants’ arms and equipment. Meanwhile, accompanied by U.S. fighter jets, Air Force cargo planes dropped food and water to refugees stranded on a nearby mountain.

Obama once again promised that U.S. ground troops, which were withdrawn in 2012, will not be sent back, saying on Monday that "the only lasting solution...is for Iraqis to come together to support a new and inclusive government."

Though critics remain skeptical that the president can accomplish his goals in Iraq without the use of ground forces, Obama insists there is no U.S. military solution to Iraq's slew of problems. Instead, the U.S. will let the Iraqi army and Kurdish peshmerga forces take the lead in pushing back against the ISIS surge and working to create a more inclusive government.


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