President Barack Obama used his weekly Saturday address this morning to talk about his rationale for authorizing airstrikes on ISIS targets in Iraq — the first of which the United States carried out on Friday.
"I directed our military to take action to protect our American diplomats and military advisors serving in the city of Erbil," Obama says in the video. "In recent days, terrorist forces neared the city. I made it clear that if they attempted to advance further, our military would respond with targeted strikes. That's what we've done. And, if necessary, that's what we will continue to do."
Obama goes on to describe the humanitarian efforts running in conjunction with the military strikes, such as food and water airdrops to thousands of Iraqis displaced by the violence. And while he says the United States will not intervene in every international crisis, the country will step in to help "countless innocent people…facing a massacre."
"As Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq," he says. But, "the United States can't just look away. That's not who we are. We're Americans. We act. We lead."
Watch the full address in the video, below. --Sarah Eberspacher