The President Gives an Update on Iraq and the Situation in Ferguson, Missouri

President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situations in Iraq and Ferguson, Missouri, from Edgartown, Massachusetts

President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situations in Iraq and Ferguson, Missouri, from Edgartown, Massachusetts, August 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This afternoon, President Obama updated the nation on two issues that he's been monitoring closely over the past several days -- America's military operations in Iraq, and the situation in Ferguson, Missouri.

Speaking first on Iraq, the President noted the progress the U.S. has made in carrying out "targeted military operations" in the country:

Last week, I authorized two limited missions:  protecting our people and facilities inside of Iraq, and a humanitarian operation to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians stranded on a mountain.

A week ago, we assessed that many thousands of Yezidi men, women and children had abandoned their possessions to take refuge on Mount Sinjar in a desperate attempt to avoid slaughter.  We also knew that ISIL terrorists were killing and enslaving Yezidi civilians in their custody, and laying siege to the mountain. Without food or water, they faced a terrible choice -- starve on the mountain, or be slaughtered on the ground.  That’s when America came to help.

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