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US carries out 15 air strikes near Iraq dam: military

Published on Aug 19, 2014 12:03 AM
 
A Peshmerga fighter flashes the sign for victory on top of an armoured vehicle on the front line of fighting with Islamic State militants 20km east of Mosul, on August 18, 2014. Kurdish peshmerga fighters backed by federal forces and US warplanes pressed a counter-offensive on Monday against jihadists after retaking Iraq's largest dam, as the United States and Britain stepped up their military involvement. -- PHOTO: AFP 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US warplanes and drones carried out 15 air strikes on Monday against Islamic State (IS) militants battling for control of a major dam in northern Iraq, the military said.

Fighter jets, bombers and unmanned planes destroyed nine Islamic State positions and eight vehicles around the Mosul dam, where insurgents are fighting Kurdish forces, US Central Command said.

The US military launched a wave of air strikes in northern Iraq just over a week ago with the stated aim of protecting a group of Yazidi minority refugees and preventing an IS advance on the city of Arbil.

President Barack Obama said last week that the siege of the Yazidi civilians has been broken, but strikes have only intensified as US-backed Kurdish and Iraqi forces try to secure the key dam.

 
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