Obama authorizes airstrikes if Islamic militants advance on Erbil

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President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. Obama says he's authorized the U.S. military to carry out airstrikes in Iraq against Islamic militants if they advance toward the city of Erbil. AP

ARA News 

President Barack Obama says he’s authorized the U.S. military to carry out airstrikes in Iraq against Islamic State’s (IS) militants if they advance toward the city of Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan Region.

On Thursday, the United State airdropped food and water to Iraqi minorities threatened by militants of IS and pleading for assistance, increasing the Obama administration’s involvement in Iraq’s growing battle against the extremists.

A U.S. defence official said the mission was conducted by military aircraft that had then safely left the drop site in northern Iraq.

President Barack Obama was to make a statement on the mission from the White House late Thursday night. His statement was following a day of tense discussion among national security officials, including over whether the humanitarian mission should be accompanied by airstrikes.

Agencies 

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