Videos show U.S. airstrikes targeting ISIS in north Iraq
Washington said the U.S. will focus on military strikes that protect American personnel and address the humanitarian situation at Sinjar mountain
The United States Central Command posted on YouTube four videos showing U.S. military aircraft targeting militants and dropping aid to civilians in northern Iraq.
Two videos showed U.S. military F/A-18 Hornet striking Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants on Friday.
“The first attack occurred about 6:45 a.m. EDT when two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan region,” a statement from the U.S. government said, adding “ISIS was using this artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending the city, where U.S. personnel are located.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Friday that the U.S. will focus on military strikes that protect American personnel and address the humanitarian situation at Sinjar mountain, until Iraq forms a new “inclusive” government.
Two additional air strikes took place “later in the day, the last at about 11:20 a.m. EDT when four F/A-18 aircraft successfully struck a stationary ISIS convoy of seven vehicles and a mortar position near Irbil, neutralizing the mortar and convoy,” the statement said.
The United States Central Command also posted videos of U.S. aircraft dropping on Thursday 40 containers of bundles of “5,300 gallons of fresh drinking water” and 16 other bundles “totaling 8,000 meals ready to eat.”
“The aircraft were over the drop area for less than fifteen minutes flying at a low altitude,” it said.
In a separate development, Yazidi MP Viad Dakhil told Agence France-Presse on Saturday that displaced Iraqis, many from the Yazidi minority will die en masse if not rescued urgently.
“We have one or two days left to help these people. After that they will start dying en masse,” Dakhil told AFP.
Dakhil on Wednesday broke down during a parliament session after speaking on the violence plaguing the country, see video.
“If we cannot give them hope now -- the (Kurdish) peshmerga, the United Nations, the government, anybody -- their morale will collapse completely and they will die,” she warned.
Thousands of Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking minority following an ancient faith rooted in Zoroastrianism, fled their homes a week ago when ISIS militants attacked the town of Sinjar.
Many of them have since been stranded in the nearby mountain range, with no food and water in searing temperatures.
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