Washington: Asserting that the US has made the world a more secure and prosperous place, President Barack Obama has said that the American leadership is necessary to underwrite the global security and prosperity.
"My fellow Americans, the world is confronted by many challenges. And while America has never been able to right every wrong, America has made the world a more secure and prosperous place," he said in a late night address to the nation, wherein he explained his decision to authorise military airstrikes in Iraq.
"Our leadership is necessary to underwrite the global security and prosperity that our children and our grandchildren will depend upon. We do so by adhering to a set of core principles. We do whatever is necessary to protect our people," Obama explained in his brief nine-minute speech.
"We support our allies when they`re in danger. We lead coalitions of countries to uphold international norms. We strive to stay true to the fundamental values - the desire to live with basic freedom and dignity - that is common to human beings wherever they are. That`s why people all over the world look to the United States of America to lead," Obama said.
Thousands of families from the Yazidi minority community are reportedly trapped in the mountains in Iraq without food and water after fleeing the rampaging fighters of the Islamic State, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS.
Obama said over the last several years, his administration has brought the vast majority of US troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I`ve been careful to resist calls to turn time and again to our military, because America has other tools in our arsenal than our military. We can also lead with the power of our diplomacy, our economy and our ideals," he said.
"But when the lives of American citizens are at risk, we will take action. That`s my responsibility as Commander-in- Chief. And when many thousands of innocent civilians are faced with the danger of being wiped out, and we have the capacity to do something about it, we will take action. That is our responsibility as Americans...," said the US President.
Obama acknowledged that many of his countrymen would be rightly concerned about any American military action in Iraq, even limited strikes like these.
"I understand that. I ran for this office in part to end our war in Iraq and welcome our troops home, and that`s what we`ve done," he said.
"As Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow the US to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq. And so even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq," he said.