Obama mulls US airstrikes to help trapped religious minorities in Iraq
Published on Aug 8, 2014 1:23 AM
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Barack Obama is considering airstrikes and emergency relief airdrops to help 40,000 religious minorities in Iraq who are trapped on a mountaintop after threats by Islamic militants, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
Mr Obama has been looking at a range of options, from dropping humanitarian supplies on Mount Sinjar to military strikes on fighters from the Islamic State who are at the base of the mountain, a senior administration official told the newspaper.
The Islamic State's Sunni militants, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda who have swept across northwestern Iraq in recent weeks, have even come within a 30-minute drive of the Kurdish capital of Arbil.
They inflicted a humiliating defeat on Kurdish forces over the weekend, prompting tens of thousands from the ancient Yazidi community to flee the town of Sinjar for surrounding mountains.
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