Obama to speak on Iraq, Ferguson unrest

AFP , Monday 18 Aug 2014

President Barack Obama (Photo:Reuters)

President Barack Obama will discuss Monday developments in Iraq, where US air strikes are targeting militants, and in Missouri, where National Guard troops have been deployed to quell protests.

In an update to Obama's schedule, the White House said: "The president will deliver a statement to provide an update on Iraq and the situation in Ferguson, Missouri," at 4:00 pm (2000 GMT).

American warplanes and drones carried out 15 air strikes earlier against Islamic State militants battling for control of a major dam in northern Iraq, US Central Command said.

The US bombings destroyed nine Islamic State positions and eight vehicles around the Mosul dam, where insurgents are fighting Kurdish peshmerga forces, according to CENTCOM.

Obama will also address the situation in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, where US National Guard troops were deployed to help authorities struggling to contain more than a week of protests triggered when a white police officer shot dead an unarmed black teenager.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon lifted an overnight curfew as the soldiers arrived, but tempers were running high amid ongoing controversy over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

A forensic pathologist retained by the victim's family revealed that the student had been shot six times -- twice in the head. Local officials have not released the results of their own autopsy.


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