Obama warns of 'long-term project' in Iraq

US President Barack Obama delivers a statement before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on August 9, 2014 in Washington, DCPresident Barack Obama warned Saturday that the US offensive in Iraq was a “long-term project” to rout out militants and deliver aid to beleaguered civilians. Recognizing there was no US military solution to reverse Islamic State fighters’ advances in Iraq, Obama called on Iraqi officials to urgently form a unity government. While US air strikes have destroyed the militants’ arms and equipment within striking distance of the autonomous region of Kurdistan, Obama said the operations that began this week could last “months.” “We feel confident we can prevent ISIL from going up the mountain and slaughtering the people who are there,” Obama said, using the militant group’s former name of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

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