President Obama has authorized limited airstrikes in Northern Iraq while reiterating his commitment to keeping ground troops out of combat.
A high-ranking defense official confirmed that humanitarian aid -- meals and water -- had been delivered via air drops earlier in the day, as directed by the President. The purpose of the aid is to assist the Yazidi people up in the northernmost part of Iraq, who are stranded and under siege.
I can confirm that tonight, at the direction of the Commander in Chief, the U.S. military conducted a humanitarian assistance operation in Northern Iraq to air drop critical meals and water for thousands of Iraqi citizens threatened by ISIL near Sinjar. The mission was conducted by a number of U.S. military aircraft under the direction of U.S. Central Command. The aircraft that dropped the humanitarian supplies have now safely exited the immediate airspace over the drop area.
The President reiterated that the area targeted for airstrikes was under siege and 15,000 members of an Iraqi sect stranded and surrounded by militant troops. Upon request by the Iraqi government, he authorized the airstrikes.
He emphatically stated that he will not allow the United States to be drawn into another war in Iraq, saying there is no American military solution to the crisis in Iraq.
The president also confirmed that Congress was consulted as required under the law.
Here is a video of the Yazidi's plea for help to the Iraqi parliament: