Iraq Crisis
4:27 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

President Obama Speaks About Developments in Iraq

President Barack Obama talks with National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice following foreign leader phone calls, from Chilmark, Mass.
President Barack Obama talks with National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice following foreign leader phone calls, from Chilmark, Mass.
Credit Pete Souza / White House

President Barack Obama congratulated Iraq's prime minster-designate in a statement on Martha's Vineyard during his vacation.

He was already expected to address the situation in Iraq during a Democratic fundraiser on the island tonight.

The U.S. military launched airstrikes against militant targets in Iraq for the fourth day in a row. Also, Iraq's new president has announced a new nominee for prime minister — a move that marked a snub for incumbent Nouri al-Maliki.

The U.S. has deployed a disaster response team to Iraq to help distribute humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of people who have been forced from their homes in the fresh wave of violence in the country's north.

U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah said the team will help speed food, water and other life-saving supplies to Iraqis. Much of the assistance will go to thousands of members of an Iraqi religious minority group known as Yazidis who have been trapped on a mountaintop in northwest Iraq by Sunni militants with the Islamic State group.

Shah said the U.S. teams would help coordinate the assistance distribution among Iraqi officials, international partners and humanitarian aid agencies.