President Obama said there was no time limit on the airstrikes in Iraq targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Saturday, stressing that the United States cannot solve the ISIS problem. Meanwhile, ISIS continues their systematic attack on the Yazidi ethnic minority.
ISIS is currently surrounding more than 300 Yazidi families who are now facing the choice of converting or being executed, according to Reuters. The families are locating in the Koja, Hatimiya and Qaboshi towns in Iraq.
About 50,000 people from Iraq’s Yazidi ethnic minority have been forced to flee their homes and seek refuge on Sinjar mountain in Northern Iraq, many without food, water or shelter, according to U.N. figures. Leaving the mountain would put them at risk of being executed by ISIS fighters.
"We feel confident we can prevent [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] from going up the mountain and slaughtering people who are there," Obama told a press briefing Saturday, adding U.S. military forces were already in place waiting to strike ISIS strongholds at the base of the mountain.
Obama stressed U.S. air strikes could not solve Iraq’s problems, and a solution would require a more inclusive Iraqi government, as ISIS is “not the only game in town.”
ISIS’ has already seized several towns across the country and has now taken over the Mosul dam, giving it the ability to flood major Iraqi cities. The militant group's escalation in the country “has been more rapid than the intelligence estimates,” Obama said.
For now, the American priority is keeping ISIS from committing a potential “genocide” of Iraq’s minorities.
"I don't think we're going to solve this problem in weeks,” Obama said. “This is going to take some time.”