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US Conducts Airstrikes Against IS Militants Near Irbil in Iraq

Lalit K Jha/Washington
File-AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed

The US military has carried out air strikes using fighter jets and drones against the Islamic State militants near Kurdish capital Irbil, aimed at assisting Kurdish forces to liberate Iraq's largest dam from jihadists.

American fighter jets and drones successfully conducted airstrikes near Irbil and the Mosul Dam, targeting militants, the Pentagon said yesterday.

These strikes were carried out under the authority to support humanitarian efforts in Iraq, as well as to protect US personnel and facilities, it added.

"The nine airstrikes conducted thus far destroyed or damaged four armored personnel carriers, seven armed vehicles, two Humvees and an armored vehicle," the US Central Command said, adding that all aircraft exited the strike areas safely.

The Islamic State militants captured Mosul Dam, in northern Iraq on the Tigris River, earlier this month.

The dam provides electricity to much of the region, and is crucial to irrigation in farming areas in Nineveh province.

The recapture of the dam would be one of the most significant achievements of Iraqi forces in fight against the militants.

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PLACES: IraqUSA
SECTION: International
OUTLOOK 17 August, 2014
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