The U.S. military said it launched four airstrikes Saturday against Islamist militants who were firing on civilians trapped on a mountain in Iraq, in a new round of attacks since President Barack Obama authorized the use of air power to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Fighter jets and drones destroyed an armored personnel carrier that was firing on some of the thousands of Yazidi civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar at 11:20 a.m. ET, and then launched two more strikes that destroyed two APCs and a military truck nearby, according to U.S. Central Command. Jets destroyed another APC near Mount Sinjar in a fourth strike at 3 p.m.
The U.S. began airstrikes Friday, in part to protect trapped members of the Yazidi religious minority that ISIS has pledged to eliminate as part of the extremist Sunni militant group’s plans to “purify” Iraq. Saturday night U.S. military cargo planes escorted by fighter jets airdropped fresh water and meals ready to eat to the trapped civilians for the third straight night, the military said.
— Phil Helsel
First published August 9 2014, 3:43 PM