New US strikes in Iraq include land-based bombers

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Kurdish peshmerga fighter - Mosul Dam
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New US strikes in Iraq include land-based bombers
A Kurdish peshmerga fighter prepares his weapon at his combat position near the Mosul Dam at the town of Chamibarakat outside Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, Aug 17, 2014. Kurdish forces took over parts of the largest dam in Iraq on Sunday less than two weeks after it was captured by the Islamic State extremist group, Kurdish security officials said, as U.S. and Iraqi planes aided their advance by bombing militant targets near the facility. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
A Kurdish peshmerga fighter patrols near the Mosul Dam at the town of Chamibarakat outside Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014. Kurdish forces took over parts of the largest dam in Iraq on Sunday less than two weeks after it was captured by the Islamic State extremist group, Kurdish security officials said, as U.S. and Iraqi planes aided their advance by bombing militant targets near the facility. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
A Kurdish peshmerga fighter prepares his ammunition near the Mosul Dam at the town of Chamibarakat outside Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014. Kurdish forces took over parts of the largest dam in Iraq on Sunday less than two weeks after it was captured by the Islamic State extremist group, Kurdish security officials said, as U.S. and Iraqi planes aided their advance by bombing militant targets near the facility. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
A Kurdish peshmerga fighter stands guard near the Mosul Dam at the town of Chamibarakat outside Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014. Kurdish forces took over parts of the largest dam in Iraq on Sunday less than two weeks after it was captured by the Islamic State extremist group, Kurdish security officials said, as U.S. and Iraqi planes aided their advance by bombing militant targets near the facility. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, stand guard near Mosul Dam at the town of Chamibarakat outside Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014. Kurdish forces took over parts of the largest dam in Iraq on Sunday less than two weeks after it was captured by the Islamic State extremist group, Kurdish security officials said, as U.S. and Iraqi planes aided their advance by bombing militant targets near the facility. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
A Kurdish peshmerga fighter patrols near the Mosul Dam at the town of Chamibarakat outside Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014. Kurdish forces took over parts of the largest dam in Iraq on Sunday less than two weeks after it was captured by the Islamic State extremist group, Kurdish security officials said, as U.S. and Iraqi planes aided their advance by bombing militant targets near the facility. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Demonstrators march with flags and banners , in Hannover, Germany, Saturday Aug. 16, 2014. Thousands of people in Germany have protested against the persecution of the Yazidi minority in Iraq. Police say at least 10,000 people attended the biggest demonstration in the north German city of Hannover on Saturday. Protesters carried banners demanding that the international community protect the Yazidi people and other minorities from the Islamist State extremist group. (AP Photo/dpa,Swen Pfoertner)
A demonstrator wears a headband reading Yazidis , in Hannover, Germany, Saturday Aug. 16, 2014. Thousands of people in Germany have protested against the persecution of the Yazidi minority in Iraq. Police say at least 10,000 people attended the biggest demonstration in the north German city of Hannover on Saturday. Protesters carried banners demanding that the international community protect the Yazidi people and other minorities from the Islamist State extremist group. (AP Photo/dpa,Swen Pfoertner)
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EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) - The U.S. has expanded its air campaign in Iraq with attacks aimed at helping Iraqi forces regain control of the strategic Mosul dam.

The White House said President Barack Obama notified Congress Sunday that the widened mission would be limited in duration and scope.

The administration's letter to Congress said "the mission is consistent with the president's directive that the U.S. military protect U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq, since the failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians and threaten U.S. personnel and facilities - including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad." It also noted that the failure of the dam could "prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services" to the Iraqi people.

The letter said: "I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution."

White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the operations are being undertaken in coordination with and at the request of the government of Iraq.

The latest round of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State extremist group includes the first reported use of land-based bombers in the military campaign.

Kurdish security officials say Kurdish forces, aided by U.S. and Iraqi airstrikes, have now taken over parts of the dam. Militants had captured control of the dam less than two weeks ago.

The U.S. military says U.S. forces conducted nine strikes Saturday and another 16 on Sunday. The second round of strikes damaged or destroyed 10 armed vehicles, seven Humvees, two armored personnel carriers and one checkpoint, the U.S. said.

Kurdish Forces Retake Mosul Dam, Deal Blow To ISIS

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