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Airstrikes and aid provide relief for Iraqi town


BY LOLITA C. BALDOR
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Aircraft from the United States, Australia, France and Britain dropped food and water to the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, which has been under siege by Islamic State militants for nearly two months, the Pentagon said Saturday night. U.S. airstrikes supported the humanitarian mission.

Thousands of Shiite Turkmen have been stranded in the farming community about 105 miles north of Baghdad. The aid came at the request of the Iraqi government, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.

Military operations will be limited in scope and duration as needed to address the humanitarian crisis in Amirli and protect the civilians trapped in the town, Kirby said.

Instead of fleeing in the face of the Islamic State drive across northern Iraq, the Shiite Turkmens have stayed and fortified their town of 15,000 with trenches and armed positions.

While Amirli (pronounced A'-mur-lee) 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.

The U.S. had been watching the area closely in case a slaughter of the Turkmen appeared imminent and air support was needed, said Michael Knights, who studies Iraq and the Persian Gulf as a fellow of The Washington Institute. U.S. airstrikes will hasten the success of the relief effort on the ground, he said.

About half of the town's population is age 15 and under while many others are elderly, sick or wounded, Knights said.

"They are remarkably vulnerable, and ISIS is determined to kill as many of these people as possible," Knights said, referring to an acronym for the Islamic State group. "As the Nazis felt about the Jews, so ISIS feels about the Shia Muslims."

U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, which began earlier this month, have targeted Islamic State militants attacking Yazidi Iraqis on Mount Sinjar and the militant forces operating in the vicinity of Ibril and Mosul Dam. The beleaguered Yazidis received several humanitarian drops of tons of food and water as well as military support aimed at protecting them.

Earlier Saturday, U.S. Central Command said five more airstrikes had taken place against Islamic State militants near Mosul Dam. Those attacks, carried out by fighter aircraft and unmanned drones, brought to 115 the total number of airstrikes across Iraq since Aug. 8.

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randy822 August 31 2014 at 11:01 AM

115 Airstrikes? Truly it should be 1,115 air strikes!

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2 replies
aaldrew randy822 August 31 2014 at 11:14 AM

At least.

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aaldrew randy822 August 31 2014 at 11:14 AM

At least.

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Joe August 31 2014 at 11:24 PM

Waiting to see if a slaughter was imminent? What's wrong with that statement? We are either in or not.

Get off your ass Obama and help these people.

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roseyoungstewart September 01 2014 at 1:34 AM

Hold up there watergirl. As a 72 yr old widowed female i do know a lot more than you do Meals on wheels is definitely not free food if you opt for 1 meal a day it is $4.00 times 5 . no meals are delivered on Sat or Sun nor are they delivered on Holidays. If you decide you want supper as well then it is 4.00 a meal times 10 meals Mon thru Friday twice a day. add that up in your pea brain. I just hate it so much when people lie on these threads.

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witteyjb August 31 2014 at 12:38 PM

Dont be mean!
Every week millions of Americans get food aid from their local churches & Social security offices!
It's all part of the Barry plan! Soon you will be joining us in the poverty line! Have a nice day!

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2 replies
roseyoungstewart witteyjb September 01 2014 at 1:26 AM

I am 72 and have been told I am below the poverty level yet i get $27.00 a month food stamps. i live on $1215 a month with a $407.05 mortgage.It doesnt seem right but it is according to my case worker Joseph Collins 0f Binghamton, NY

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rudniski136 August 31 2014 at 2:41 PM

What does it say about ISIS and other militant Muslims that they will gladly murder and slaughter other Muslims who have a slightly different take on the teachings of Islam? The slaughter Christians too but the media doesn't like to mention that.

That would be like Catholics slaughtering all members of Protestant Sects of Christianity. Oh! Wait! That did happen. But it was centuries ago and it is time the Muslims moved up at least into the 19th century if living in the 21st is too difficult. Being tolerant of others is called CIVILIZED.

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2 replies
Bruce rudniski136 August 31 2014 at 4:12 PM

Not if you're a radical muslim.

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roseyoungstewart rudniski136 September 01 2014 at 1:28 AM

yes remember the young school girls that were kidnapped and not found and all are now forgotten except bytheir parents? They were being taught Christianity ISIS kills those who not say i believe in Islam' Isis are not true Muslims but are considered MILITANT.

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foothillr August 31 2014 at 10:57 AM

We dont help our own in this country but we air drop and assist with billions of dolloars worth of everything all over the world. Its sickening. Politics as usual.

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6 replies
lov2elkhnt August 31 2014 at 7:26 PM

To those who want a free Iraq, keep fighting and never give up and this Obamanation President will not be in office forever. Many good people in the western world know your hearts and know the evil you must war against to know a real God weather it be an Islam all inclusive for you that can acknowledge other faiths or Judaism, or folowers of Jesus. A great nation can include all faiths without harrasment. Even though the USA lost sight of that ideal the Founders provided them and Europe rebukes all faiths for self idealisms these days. Don't yield to the "Good Fight". We will return after Obamanation is over in America.

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1 reply
Pam Baker lov2elkhnt September 01 2014 at 9:27 AM

love the term "Obamanation"! Made my day.

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asstsysad September 01 2014 at 1:05 AM

I would like to know how much the aid supplies cost And if any politician in our govt owned any kind of stock in that company or benefitted in any way from the aid supplies US taxpayers paid for.
I don't trust any of the politicians in this country. The politicians have two agendas, divert as much tax dollars to their own pockets and also to their Parties coffers.
They have no concern whatsoever for the taxpayers they are bleeding dry...

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b4score September 01 2014 at 7:46 AM

It is time for that A/H in the White House tostart air drops of food to the hungry Americans.

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justiceforpatperjury September 01 2014 at 12:33 PM

JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED

A CALL FOR JUSTICE
PETITION TO THE DOJ, MEDIA AND PUBLIC TO OPEN A FORMAL
INVESTIGATION INTO THE CORRUPTION and MISUSE OF POWER IN JASPER COUNTY INDIANA GOVERNMENT
JCS will be using drone to kill his enemies next so no one can be seen

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