U.S. Confirms Airstrikes on IS Targets in Iraq
The United States military confirmed on Saturday night it conducted nine airstrikes near Arbil and Iraq's largest dam in an effort to help Kurdish forces retake it from violent extremists, AFP reported.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said fighter jets and drones had destroyed or damaged four armored personnel carriers, seven armed vehicles, two Humvees and an armored vehicle.
CENTCOM "conducted these strikes under authority to support humanitarian efforts in Iraq, as well as to protect US personnel and facilities," it added.
"All aircraft exited the strike areas safely."
Kurdish forces attacked the Islamic State (IS) fighters who wrested the Mosul dam from them a week earlier, a general told AFP.
"Kurdish peshmerga, with U.S. air support, have seized control of the eastern side of the dam" complex, Major General Abdulrahman Korini told AFP, saying several IS men had been killed.
The Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria it captured, forced tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians to flee their homes or face certain death.
Members of the group have also taken hundreds of Yazidi women captive and have been holding them in schools in Mosul.