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Obama: 'We broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar'

Published on Aug 15, 2014 1:31 AM

MARTHA'S VINEYARD, United States (AFP) - President Barack Obama said Thursday that US air strikes had broken the siege of an Iraqi mountain sheltering civilian refugees and that troops conducting reconnaissance there would be withdrawn.

But he added that US air strikes would continue against extremists from the so-called Islamic State or ISIL if they threaten US personnel and facilities in the region, including the Kurdish regional capital Arbil.

“The bottom line is – the situation on the mountain has greatly improved and Americans should be very proud of our efforts because the skill and professionalism of our military and the generosity of our people we broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar,” Mr Obama said in a statement to reporters during his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

“We helped save many innocent lives. Because of these efforts, we do not expect there to be an additional operation to evacuate people off the mountain and it’s unlikely we’re going to need to continue humanitarian air drops on the mountain,” he said.

US President Barack Obama addressing the media on Iraq and other issues during his vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts on August 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
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