Iraq crisis: Barack Obama warns that intervention is a 'long-term project' as US launches more air strikes

The US President said America was acting to prevent genocide

The US has launched a series of air strikes on the militant forces persecuting refugees in Iraq, in what Barack Obama says will be a "long-term project" of military intervention.

Isis fighters have driven tens of thousands of Kurdish-speaking followers of the Yazidi faith into the north-western Sinjar mountain range, in what has been described as "genocide in [both] the literal and legalistic sense".

The UN estimates that at least 56 children have died of dehydration in the mountains, and the US President said America must act now to prevent more deaths, provide humanitarian aid and protect its diplomats.

US Central Command said in a statement that over the course of Saturday four strikes were carried out by its planes and drones, targeting the Isis militants as they fired indiscriminately upon civilians.

Read more:
American intervention against Isis boosts Kurdish morale
Iraq crisis - the case for intervention
Starving, desperate, but safe from Isis on Mount Sinjar

Military officials said they destroyed armoured carriers and a truck, in what was the third round of air strikes since they were authorised by the President on Thursday.

Until then the US had not carried out its own official military operations in Iraq since the withdrawal in late 2011.

Footage released by the US military shows a fighter jet strike on an Isis target on Friday 8 August Footage released by the US military shows a fighter jet strike on an Isis target on Friday 8 August It returned to battle on Friday when two F/A-18 jets dropped 500lb bombs on Islamic State fighters advancing on the Kurdish capital of Irbil as violence sent the number of displaced Iraqis soaring.

And while Mr Obama admitted the US military cannot bring peace to Iraq, he said the air strikes were "part of a long-term project" that will continue until Iraq can form a government capable of ensuring the security of its borders.

"We can conduct air strikes, but ultimately there's not going to be an American military solution to this problem," he said. "There's going to have to be an Iraqi solution that America and other countries and allies support."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£14000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is very proud of t...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Sales

£75000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Head of Sales position is offered on...

East15 Acting School: Finance and Contracts Officer

£20,781 to £24,057 per annum: East15 Acting School: The post involves general ...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Control / Sales Ledger Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a temporary position wo...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen