Pentagon orders new rounds of airstrikes and aid drops
Late Saturday night, U.S. forces conducted another round of airstrikes and humanitarian aid. The strikes are now occurring near the town of Amirli.
“These military operations were conducted under authorization from the commander-in-chief to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and to prevent an ISIS attack on the civilians of Amirli,” Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement. “The operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to address this emerging humanitarian crisis and protect the civilians trapped in Amirli.”
According to Kirby, aircraft from Australia, France and Britain joined the operation in the air drop. Operations will be limited in duration, scope, and focusing on the humanitarian crisis in Amirli and protect the trapped Iraqis.
Saturday’s strikes and drops increased the U.S. effort to face ISIS, which has taken control of territory from Syria and parts of Iraq. The beheading of American journalist James Foley has increased the need for urgency in confronting them. The airstrikes have given Kurdish fighters and Iraqi forces the power to retake the Mosul dam and push back extremists from Mosul. Early Saturday morning, Central Command said five more airstrikes have taken pace against Islamic State militants near Mosul Dam.
Amirli fought off the initial attack in June, it has been surrounded by the militants since mid-July. Some residents have said that the Iraqi military’s efforts to fly in food, water and other aid have not been enough amid oppressive heat, lack of electrical power – the town’s power station was destroyed weeks ago – and shelling from the militants.
Amerli residents face major shortages of food and water, and are in danger both because of their Shiite faith. The White House has yet to decide if the President will order expanded military action in the Amerli area or even within Syria.
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