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No plans to expand Iraq strikes: US

Published on Aug 12, 2014 7:00 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States has no plans to expand its air campaign in Iraq beyond protecting American personnel in the city of Arbil and besieged Yazidi refugees, the Pentagon said on Monday.

"There are no plans to expand the current air campaign beyond the current self defence activities," Lieutenant General William Mayville told reporters at the Pentagon.

Last week, US warplanes launched strikes to beat back extremist fighters from the so-called Islamic State who had threatened to massacre the Yazidi religious minority and attack Arbil.

Arbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, hosts a US consulate and other facilities, and President Barack Obama said he had ordered air strikes to protect American lives.

This US Department of Defense handout photo shows, Director of Operations J3, US Army Lt. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr. briefing the press at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. -- PHOTO: AFP 
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