Obama on Iraq's Appointment of New Prime Minister: 'An Important Step'

The president gives an update on American military operations in Iraq, and the country's steps toward a new government.
7:14 | 08/11/14

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Transcript for Obama on Iraq's Appointment of New Prime Minister: 'An Important Step'
This is an ABC news special report crisis in the -- now reporting. Jaded New York. Good afternoon we come on here because we're expecting to hear from the president just moments from now on the growing crisis in Iraq in the US military operations still under way. The White House releasing this picture today the president meeting earlier today with national security advisor Susan Rice. US military has launched airstrikes against militant targets in Iraq for the fourth day in a row now. These attacks in defense of the thousands of refugees driven from their homes into the mountains of Northern Iraq. There is also concern for Americans on the ground and reveal the attacks are largely for the defense of that city and for the Americans there the American diplomats the military advisors. As part of the operation as -- -- US humanitarian mission to help those stranded. And to date Iraq's president formerly nominating a candidate. To replace prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki. The president on Martha's Vineyard vacation in taking this moment to talk about the crisis in Iraq let's listen. -- -- -- I want approach provide an update on recent developments in Iraq includes important steps forward as Iraqis form of government. Or -- -- American forces have successfully conducted. Targets airstrikes. Prevent terrorist forces from advancing on the city of mobile and protect America's ability. Kurdish forces on the ground continue to defend their city and -- stepped up military advice and assistance. Two Iraqi and Kurdish forces as they wage the fight against us. At the same time we've continued our daily humanitarian efforts to provide lifesaving assistance to the men women and children stranded on months ago. Deployed USA ID disaster assistance response team to help. Some have begun to escape their perch on that mountain and we're working -- international partners to develop options to bring them to say. -- want to thank in particular. The United Kingdom France and other countries working -- -- to provide much needed assistance to the Iraqi People. Meanwhile our aircraft from a position like any terrorist forces -- who threaten the safety of these -- The surveillance. This advances -- limited military objectives we've outlined in Iraq. Protecting Americans citizens. Providing advice and assistance to Iraqi forces as they battle these terrorists. And joining -- international partners to provide humanitarian aid. But. -- -- -- operations traditional American military solution to look like in Iraq. The only classical. Is for rockets come together and form an inclusive government. One that represents the legitimate interest of all Iraqis and one that could unify the country's fight against us. Today Iraq -- promising step forward in this critical effort. Last month the Iraqi People named a new president. Today president must soon. Named a new prime minister designate doctor Haider -- body. Under the Iraqi constitution as an important step. Towards forming a new government they can unite. Iraq's different community. As possible. One that inclusive of all Iraqis and one that represents. All office. Our players our support to him as well as to present strong and speaker -- worried as they work together on this government. Meanwhile -- all Iraqi political leaders to work peacefully through the political process in the days ahead. This new Iraqi leadership after fast. -- -- to regain confidence of its citizens by government exclusively. By taking steps to demonstrate its control. The United States stands -- this -- government that addresses the needs and grievances of -- Iraqi People. We're also -- to work with other countries in the region to deal with the humanitarian crisis and counterterrorism challenge in Iraq. Mobilizing their work will be user wants this new government. And it's been difficult days in Iraq a country -- so many challenges in its recent history. I'm sure there is there will be difficult days ahead. But just the United States will remain vigilant against the threat posed to our people vice. We stand ready to partner with Iraq this fight against these terrorists -- Without question that effort will be advance if Iraqis continue to build on today's progress. And come together to support a new and inclusive government. Thank you. President Obama there on Martha's Vineyard where he is vacationing with his family -- watching developments in Iraq very closely talking about targeted airstrikes continuing. But they've stepped up assistance to the Kurdish forces Iraqi forces on the ground. A one -- in our chief White House correspondent John Karl also also on Martha's Vineyard I should say and there was something that struck me there the president said there is no American solution. To this and -- took note that today the president of Iraq has nominated a candidate for prime minister of the White House certainly -- what's job. Yeah these are dramatic developments in Iraq we have a new prime minister designate as the president said. This is something the United States has seen as -- central they've really seen the current prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki as the problem in Iraq. But now the big question is what does -- he'd do. There are indications that he is not willing to step aside so this was the president laying down a marker saying he has called the new prime minister delegate. Designated and he is welcomed him saying -- -- promising step and calling -- peaceful transition. Now we'll see if it actually happens in Iraq. Talking about those phone calls today and I want to bring in ABC's chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz in Washington. There has been no timetable given for these targeted airstrikes of the president. A mentioned moments ago that they do continue Martha any indication from your sources how long they want to carry this out now would this political pressure. The president's place in Iraq. Well I think they'll carry them out as long as they feel that -- -- is at risk and certainly if they ever feel Baghdad. Is that risk they will continue those airstrikes -- you heard again the president wants to say these are limited airstrikes. Lieutenant general today at the Pentagon said they are having some effect but you're also seeing some of these -- -- terrorists hiding. And that's making it more difficult to target and it is also not stopping their advance in other parts of the country but the president again making clear. This is just for a limited purpose to protect Americans not to solve Iraq's problems. Story Martha -- a slot in our Washington bureau Jon Karl on Martha's Vineyard for many view your local news is coming up right here for the rest to view -- returning to regular programming. I hope to see for tonight's world news you can follow developments in Iraq by storing it on the ABC news mobile app along with personalized alerts all -- long. I'm David -- here in New York we'll see you shortly on world news until then have a -- This has been a special report. From ABC news.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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