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Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on the President's Authorization of Operations in Iraq

Today, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (WPR), the President transmitted to the Congress a report notifying the Congress that he had authorized U.S. Armed Forces to conduct targeted airstrikes in Iraq to support Iraqi Security Force operations to retake and establish control over the Mosul Dam, a critical infrastructure site, as part of their ongoing campaign against ISIL.

This mission is consistent with President Obama's directive that the U.S. military protect U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq, since the failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, threaten U.S. personnel and facilities -- including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad -- and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace.

These operations are limited in their nature, duration, and scope and are being undertaken in coordination with and at the request of the Government of Iraq.

The Administration will continue to consult with the Congress on the way forward in Iraq and our efforts against ISIL, and we will continue to provide appropriate reports to the Congress consistent with the War Powers Resolution.

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