The first U.S. airstrikes against militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were launched Friday, after President Obama announced plans for action Thursday night. The strikes are a response to ISIS’ attack on Kurdish forces near Erbil, a city that houses dozens of American military advisors.
“We intend to stay vigilant, and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate in Erbil and our embassy in Baghdad,” the President said Thursday. Obama was careful to indicate that the U.S. response would not include ground forces, saying, “American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq.”
Obama also noted that a second humanitarian effort would take place to help those Iraq civilians trapped without food or water, “facing almost certain death.”