Obama says 'progress' being made in Iraq - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Obama says 'progress' being made in Iraq

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President Obama says military operations are effectively protecting personnel and facilities in Iraq. (Source: POOL/CNN) President Obama says military operations are effectively protecting personnel and facilities in Iraq. (Source: POOL/CNN)

WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) – President Barack Obama took a couple days off from his vacation to head back to work in Washington, DC.

He arrived late Sunday night and spent Monday in meetings.

One of those meetings focused on the U.S.'s military action in Iraq. Later in the day, Obama spoke about the situation in a news conference.

“We continue to see important progress across different parts of our strategy to support the Iraqi government and combat the threat from terrorist group ISIL. First, our military operations are effectively protecting our personnel and facilities in Iraq. Over the last 11 days, American airstrikes have stopped the ISIL advance around the city of Irbil and pushed back the terrorists,” Obama said. “Meanwhile, we have urgently provided additional arms and assistance to Iraqi forces, including Kurdish and Iraqi security forces who are fighting on the front lines."

Obama is expected to head back to Martha's Vineyard to finish his vacation on Tuesday. Islamic extremists and Kurdish forces are battling for control of the Mosul Dam.

ISIS seized it earlier this month, and Kurdish forces took it back with the aid of U.S. airstrikes.

Since Aug. 8, U.S. Central Command has conducted a total of 68 airstrikes in Iraq. Of those 68 strikes, 35 have been in support of Iraqi forces near the Mosul Dam.

Built in the early 1980s under Saddam Hussein, the dam sits on the Tigris River about 30 miles north of Mosul. It's a key source of water and electricity across much of the northern region and beyond.

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