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Text of letter from Obama to Congress on Iraq airstrikes

President Barack Obama meets with his national security team in the Oval Office, Aug. 8, 2014. Clockwise from Obama's left are National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice; Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Adviser; Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser to the Vice President; and Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release August 8, 2014

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE

August 8, 2014

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

As I announced publicly on August 7, 2014, I have authorized the U.S. Armed Forces to conduct targeted airstrikes in Iraq. These military operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to protect American personnel in Iraq by stopping the current advance on Erbil by the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege of Mount Sinjar and protect the civilians trapped there.

Pursuant to this authorization, on August 8, 2014, U.S. military forces commenced targeted airstrike operations in Iraq.

In addition, I have authorized U.S. Armed Forces to provide humanitarian assistance in Iraq in an operation that commenced on August 7, 2014. These operations will also be limited to supporting the civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar.

I have directed these actions, which are in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive. These actions are being undertaken in coordination with the Iraqi government.

I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.

Sincerely,
BARACK OBAMA
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