Obama: U.S. Airforce 'Remains Positioned' Around Refugees at Mount Sinjar

President Obama arrives to deliver a statement on the situation in Iraq from his vacation compound at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Speaking from his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard on Monday, President Barack Obama told reporters that the prospect of a new government in Iraq is a “promising step forward.” He also said that Vice President Joe Biden had called to congratulate the Iraqi prime minister-designate Haider al-Abadi, also a member of Nouri al-Malilki’s Dawa Party, urging him to form a new government.  

"The United States stands ready to support a government that addresses the needs and grievances of all of the Iraqi people,” Obama said.

Obama also noted that the U.S. Airforce “remains positioned” around Mount Sinjar, where refugees from the Islamic State's advance have gathered, to “strike any forces who threaten the safety of those families” living on the mountain.

"No American military solution to larger Iraq crisis," President Obama added.

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A senior Pentagon official told the Guardian on Monday that the strikes in Iraq are not expected to significantly hinder the Islamic State (previously known as ISIL), though they may have “blunted” the group’s progression towards Irbil.

“What I expect ISIL to do is to look for other things to do, to pick up and move elsewhere. So I in no way want to suggest that we have effectively contained or that we are somehow breaking the momentum of the threat posed by Isil,” the official told the Guardian