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US drops more humanitarian aid for Iraqi refugees

Posted on Aug 10 2014 | IANS

Baghdad, Aug 9 : The US dropped more food and water on Sinjar Mountain in northern Iraq Saturday to help thousands of refugees stranded under threat from the Islamic State (IS) Sunni insurgents, media reports said.

Three military cargo planes, escorted by fighter jets, dropped more than 28,000 ready-to-eat meals and more than 1,500 gallons of fresh drinking water early Saturday, the New York Times quoted the Pentagon as saying.

Britain joined the humanitarian effort Saturday. Two cargo planes carrying tents, blankets, food, water and solar lanterns left Britain's Royal Air Force station in Brize Norton, 105 km north-west of London.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said British relief supplies had been "pre-positioned" in the region and Royal Air Force planes would begin airdrops "imminently." "There will be a continuing drumbeat" of airdrop operations in conjunction with the US, BBC quoted Hammond as saying in a statement.

Meanwhile the Sunni Islamic militants have made fresh gains in northern Iraq and are threatening the capital of the Kurdish semi-autonomous region, Irbil, as the US has begun airstrikes against IS targets engaging Kurdish forces near Irbil.

In his weekly address Saturday, US President Barack Obama said that he will not allow jihadist militants to carve out a "Caliphate" in Syria and Iraq as he vowed to continue the military action against the jihadist group if necessary.

He, however, stressed that US combat troops would not be "dragged into fighting another war in Iraq".

"We will protect our citizens. We will work with the international community to address this humanitarian crisis. We'll help prevent these terrorists from having a permanent safe haven from which to attack America," he said.

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