President Barack Obama says the airstrikes against Islamic State insurgents will take some time but that it was up to the Iraqi government to take the lead. Nathan Frandino reports.
These are the U.S. airstikes that President Barack Obama says are destroying the arms and equipment of the Islamic State insurgents. Despite the progress in these individual strikes in northern Iraq, Obama warns against setting a timetable. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "I don't think we're going to solve this problem in weeks, if that's what you mean. I think this is going to take some time." The Islamic State has been moving toward Arbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital, where the U.S. has a consulate -- a major concern for Obama. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "Wherever and whenever U.S. personnel are threatened, it's my responsibility to make sure they're threatened." Meanwhile, thousands of the Yazidi religious sect have fled but still face danger. The Kurdish military has managed to rescue some, but many more remain vulnerable. The U.S. has also dropped aid for this group and is calling for other allies to assist. Ultimately, Obama says it's up to the Iraqi government to take control. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "We've also seen is a wake-up call for a lot of Iraqis inside Baghdad, recognizing that we're going to have to rethink how we're going to do business if we're going to hold the country together." The government in Baghdad has been in a stalemate since April elections with Prime Minister Nuri-al Maliki refusing to step aside defying pressure from Washington and Tehran.