President Obama Issues Airstrike in Iraq, Prepares for Martha’s Vineyard Vacation
President Barack Obama is on his way to Martha’s Vineyard this weekend for an extended vacation after issuing an airstrike on Islamic militants nearing U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq.
Late Thursday night, Obama announced that the U.S. vowed to take a stand against an extremist group wheeling heavy artillery toward the city of Erbil, in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The weaponry, which was being towed by a militant vehicle, was approaching the city where the U.S. consulate is located.
Friday morning, Pentagon officials confirmed that two U.S. F/A-18 fighter jets flew over the area and unleashed 500-pound laser-guided bombs on fighters from the Islamic State, a group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS.
The region is under siege as thousands of refugees have fled their homes and occupied a nearby mountain range without food or water, fearing death at the hands of the extremist forces. American aircrafts have begun conducting humanitarian airdrops of food and water to help those in need, the president said Thursday evening.
The defense attack, which signals the U.S.’s first major military re-engagement in Iraq since troops were removed in 2011, comes just one day prior to Obama’s scheduled vacation time with the First Lady and their two kids. The Obamas are set to arrive on Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday, August 9, via Marine One, from the Cape Cod Coast Guard Air Station.
Obama will stay in the Vineyard for two days before attending a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee event, according to the president’s tentative schedule.
Later in the week, Obama will return to the White House, taking a slight hiatus from his vacation to deal with matters in Washington, D.C. He is set to return to the Vineyard on August 19 to finish out his stay with his family until August 24.
Obama is expected to take up his usual vacation hobbies, including golfing and bike-riding along the island’s paths and coast. Martha’s Vineyard has become a favored spot for the Commander in Chief, who since 2008 has made the quaint island his go-to destination in the summertime since he was first elected president.