WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama said on Saturday US airstrikes have destroyed arms and equipment that Islamic State insurgents could have used to attack Arbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital.

He declined to give a timetable for the duration of the current operation in Iraq, beyond saying it would not be just weeks. "This is going to take some time," Obama said during a brief news conference before leaving Washington for a two-week vacation.

He said the United States would continue to provide military assistance and advice to the Baghdad government and Kurdish forces, but stressed repeatedly the importance of Iraq forming its own inclusive government.



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