decided he had to do something. So he's doing... something.
The mandate he gave to the armed forces was more limited than that of
his predecessors, focused mainly on dropping food and water. But he also
authorized targeted airstrikes “if necessary” against Islamic radicals
advancing on the Kurdish capital of Erbil and others threatening to wipe
out thousands of non-Muslims stranded on a remote mountaintop.
The Pentagon revealed that two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil.
Here's what I think: despite his wanting the whole thing to just go away and stop being a problem for him, the mess is now so bloody awful he can't ignore it, talk around it or wish it away. Too many news sources nowadays, things like thousands of people dying slowly on a hill can't be covered-up or ignored. So he and his minions(or handlers, as may be the case with some) got together and decided "What's the least we can do to say 'We did something'? Not enough to upset the Right-Thinking People, but maybe enough to shut everyone else up, enough to pretend we're actually trying to stop ISIL?"
Reason I think so? There's a bloody carrier in range with enough firepower on it to do some serious remodeling. If he actually wanted the bad guys stopped, the orders would be "Find their heavy weapons, supply points, convoys and troop concentrations and smash them." Which could be done, between the carrier aircraft and drones. Instead we've got 'drop some supplies and- if necessary- drop some bombs.' Makes you want to know what 'necessary' is being defined as, doesn't it?
Something else: want to bet that a bunch of pilots are wondering if, if they're shot or forced down, they'll wind up like those people in Benghazi?