Obama Security Adviser Defends 'Humanitarian' Airstrikes
White House Security Adviser Ben Rhodes described President Obama’s decision to authorize military airstrikes in Iraq as “humanitarian.”
“The President authorized two missions,” Rhodes said during an interview on MSNBC. “One would be strikes associated with the humanitarian mission. The other would be strikes associated with the security of our people.”
During the interview, Rhodes explained that the United States would continue to defend American personnel and help Iraqi forces take on ISIL terrorists, known also as ISIS and IS.
“Clearly, there is a war underway in Iraq. … We’re going to be engaged in supporting the Iraqis as they take their fight to ISIL,” he said.
Rhodes insisted that Obama was not reluctant to authorize the airstrikes in Iraq--even though he campaigned to end the war and refused to authorize military action for months.
“[W]e’re not going to stand by when we do see these core American interests threatened,” Rhodes said. “So the President was not at all reluctant to make this decision yesterday when he saw it was necessary for the security of the United States.”