In his "Weekly Address" on August 9, 2014, President Barack Obama detailed why he authorized two operations in Iraq -- targeted military strikes to protect Americans serving in Iraq and humanitarian airdrops of food and water to help Iraqi civilians trapped on a mountain by terrorists.
On August 7, the U.S. military made its first airdrop of food and water for thousands of Iraqi citizens threatened by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) near Sinjar Iraq. This mission was conducted from multiple airbases within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility and included one C-17 and two C-130 aircraft that together dropped a total of 72 bundles of supplies. They were escorted by two F/A-18s also from an airbase within Central Command; the supply mission did not require any U.S. ground forces.
The C-17 dropped 40 "Container Delivery System" bundles of fresh drinking water and was complemented by a C-130 loaded with an additional 16 bundles totaling 5,300 gallons of fresh drinking water. In addition, one C-130 aircraft dropped 16 bundles totaling 8,000 meals ready to eat. The aircraft were over the drop area for less than fifteen minutes flying at a low altitude.
In this week's address, the President saluted America’s brave men and women in uniform for protecting our fellow Americans and helping to save the lives of innocent people. The President also made clear that the United States will not be dragged into another war in Iraq -- that American combat troops will not return -- because there is no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq.
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