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Kurdish forces retake two towns in Northern Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) - Kurdish forces retook Sunday two towns from the Sunni militants that have seized large parts of northern Iraq, said a senior Kurdish military official, amid a building international response that has included air drops of aid and airstrikes.

Brig. Gen. Shirko Fatih said the Kurdish fighters were able to push the militants of the Islamic State group out of the villages of Makhmour and al-Gweir some 45 kilometers from Irbil, in one of the first victories by the Kurdish forces that until now have been in retreat.

The victories by the radical Sunni militants that adhere to an extremist intolerant interpretation of Islam have sent 10,000s of the country's minorities fleeing from their homes in fear in a situation that has grabbed world attention.

The United States announced a fourth round of airstrikes Sunday against militant vehicles and mortars firing on Irbil as part of its small-scale series of attacks meant to discourage the Sunni fighters from endangering U.S. personnel near the Kurdish capital.

During a visit to Baghdad, France's foreign minister said during that Paris will provide "several tons" of aid to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people and called upon leaders in Baghdad to unite against Sunni militants who have seized large parts of the country.

Speaking at a press conference with Iraq's acting Foreign Minister Hussain al-Shahristani, Laurent Fabius said his visit is aimed at boosting humanitarian efforts in northern Iraq, where tens of thousands of minority Yazidis have fled into the mountains and even into neighboring Syria to escape the extremist Islamic State group.

The actions of the militants may even constitute "crimes against humanity," warned the European Union in a statement, in which it said it was "appalled by the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation."

Britain for its part said its air force has already dropped water containers and solar lanterns over the Sinjar mountains where the Yazidis have taken refuge with little food and water. An ancient religion with links to Zoroastrianism, the Yazidis have been given a choice of converting to Islam or dying, by the militants.

U.S. fighter jets and drones have also attacked militants firing on the Yazidis around Sinjar, which is in the far west of the country near the Syrian border.

After Kurdish fighters opened a path to the border, thousands of Yazidis have been pouring across the river into Kurdish-controlled parts of Syria.

Those crossing told The Associated Press they had lost their sisters, daughters, children and their elderly parents, describing militants randomly spraying machine gun fire in their direction as they fled.

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chateauchambord August 10 2014 at 3:46 PM

It will be a blessing when Obama is finally gone along with all his stupid sycophants. The lame brain liberal voters should be ashamed of what they voted for.

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33 replies
christine August 10 2014 at 4:53 PM

There are people on this board who remind me of Shiite and Sunni sectarians; they wouldn't do anything to save the US were she attacked if it meant cooperating with Obama.
The Obama position on Iraq is simple: we should never have invaded but since we did, we bear some responsibility for the catastrophe. The Iraqis have to cooperate to save their own country; we will not do it for them, but will help them if they do.
ISIS is surrounded with enemies that could attack it from every direction. But it would require cooperation and compromise.
Repairing the catastrophe W did to the US demanded cooperation and compromise. What should the American people think of a Republican party that created foreign and domestic disaster with its ideological follishness, refused to compromise to fix it, and is offering the same policies again?
Quit hating and start thinking up some new policies that might actually work.

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18 replies
randy822 August 10 2014 at 3:24 PM

Keep on Kurds! Obama better get off his ass and send you heavy weapons! You may very well be the only hope Iraq has!

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7 replies
Merle August 10 2014 at 3:47 PM

Go Kurds! Give them some help , bomb those slugs (ISSI) off the face of the earth. Let the Kurds manage Iraq, they seem to do a better job than anyone else. At least they are brave!!

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5 replies
dbrianpritchett August 10 2014 at 3:29 PM

Want to understand our foreign policy...Look no further than Obama's Muslim religion...That is all you need to know.

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19 replies
nypdlatentprint August 10 2014 at 3:30 PM

The actions of the militants may even constitute "crimes against humanity," MAY? Cutting off babies heads is a crime against humanity.

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4 replies
Papa Bear August 10 2014 at 3:54 PM

MILITANTS? That is too good of a title for these murdering perverts. they are beheading children, raping Mothers and hanging Fathers. for being Christians.

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1 reply
foxbat325 Papa Bear August 10 2014 at 9:28 PM

It is not only Christains that they are killing. We must make it clear that those terrorist do not differ in their killing of people. For if we do not it plays into the far lefts anti-Christain agenda.

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3 replies
Denzil August 10 2014 at 3:42 PM

O-DUMBO'S answer to " crimes against Humanity " against the Kurds...?......... Another round of GOLF on Martha's Vineyard ..This guy is a Dope

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15 replies
Randy1953 August 10 2014 at 3:28 PM

Instead of Muslim state the Kurds should be awarded with a Kurdish state . It would be a buffer zone and get rid of violent mass murderers who kill for religious reasons .

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2 replies
rob000000 Randy1953 August 10 2014 at 3:57 PM

Except that would destablize Turkey.

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2 replies
kcarthey rob000000 August 10 2014 at 4:47 PM

You are the only other person I've seen post who understands the situation there. Nice.

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Charlotte rob000000 August 11 2014 at 3:10 AM

Turkey is turning from a democratic country to Sharia law very slowly. Ergodan is very religious. Iran is a Shiite country so they would not be supporting ISIS, but Saudis, Quatariis are all Sunni. The only Shiite countries in the middle East are parts of Iraq, Iran and Syria. This is a Sunni/Shiite conflict that has escalated due to the repulsive barbarians called ISIS. Iraq is made up of Shiia, Sunni and Kurds. This is an unworkable threesome. The Kurds need their own country.

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Jac Bryan Randy1953 August 10 2014 at 4:54 PM

Turkey is 99% Muslim and most of them are now leaning toward radical extremist. Turkey, Qatar and Iran are the ones supporting the Islam terrorist including Hamas and ISIS.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
HiBarbRayAndMeg Jac Bryan August 10 2014 at 10:01 PM

Nice try... I see plenty of confusion from people on the right who only get their info from fixed news and hate radio.. ISIS is a Sunni terroritst group supported by Sunni countries.. Iran is Shiite. Most of Americas dead soldiers were due to sunni resistance during the Iraq war. But Iran does support Hammas and Hezbolla.

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JERRY V August 10 2014 at 3:45 PM

we shouldn't be announcing any air strikes, or giving ISIL any info they can use. The kurds are doing a great job...as long as we can help decimate the stolen equip. ISIL took from the Iraqis who abandoned their post. The Iraqi people need to stand against terrorism no matter where it comes from...today its the Sunni Fanatics, tomorrow the Iranian fanatics. It must be fought now by all who hold freedom sacred.

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4 replies
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