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U.S. launches airstrikes in Iraq

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published August 8, 2014 at 8:16 a.m. Updated August 8, 2014 at 8:31 a.m.


In this Monday, Sept. 19, 2005, file photo, a Yazidi man an his donkey walk along a road on Mount Sinjar, 250 miles northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. Iraqis on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, welcomed the U.S. airlift of emergency aid to thousands of people who fled to the mountains to escape Islamic extremists and called for greater intervention, as U.S. warplanes struck the militants for the first time. Cargo planes dropped parachuted crates of food and water over an area in the mountains outside Sinjar, where thousands of members of the Yazidi minority where sheltering, according to witnesses in the militant-held town, who asked not to be identified for security reasons.

WASHINGTON — U.S. fighters dropped bombs on Islamic militants in Iraq on Friday, the Pentagon said, redeeming President Barack Obama's promise of military force to counter the advancing militants and confront the threat they pose to Iraqi civilians and Americans.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that two F/A-18 jets dropped 500-pound bombs on a piece of artillery and the truck towing it.

In a televised to the speech Thursday night, Obama had threatened to renew U.S. military involvement in Iraq's long sectarian war. He said that American military planes already had carried out airdrops of food and water, at the request of the Iraqi government, to tens of thousands of Iraqi religious minorities atop a mountain surrounded by militants and desperately in need of supplies.

"America is coming to help," the president said in a somber speech from the White House.

The Yazidis, who follow an ancient religion with ties to Zoroastrianism, fled their homes after the Islamic State group issued an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a religious fine, flee their homes or face death.

"Earlier this week, one Iraqi in the area cried to the world, 'There is no one coming to help.' Well, today, America is coming to help," Obama said. "We're also consulting with other countries — and the United Nations — who have called for action to address this humanitarian crisis."

The announcement reflected the deepest American engagement in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew in late 2011 after nearly a decade of war. Obama, who made his remarks in a steady and somber tone, has staked much of his legacy as president on ending what he once called the "dumb war" in Iraq.

Read Saturday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more on this story.


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lazybar says... August 8, 2014 at 9:07 a.m.

so if obozo ended bush`s war and is now bombing iraq is it still bush`s war?

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... August 8, 2014 at 9:17 a.m.

No lazybar, they will call it a "humanitarian crisis" and that will be the end of this story.

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paladin123p06130833 says... August 8, 2014 at 9:40 a.m.

They will re-instate the no-fly zone, then shoot down any unauthorized aircraft or blow up anti-craft weapon system. Just like the days before George W did his thing and started this whole mess.

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Packman says... August 8, 2014 at 10:02 a.m.

A few months back BH Obama made a goofy analogy using the LA Lakers and Kobi Bryant to poke fun at these Islamic militants as being nothing to worry about. Looks like the joke's on Obama. Are you Democrats ashamed yet?

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FreeSpiritMan says... August 8, 2014 at 10:49 a.m.

Democrats have nothing to be ashamed of in Iraq, it was the republican warmongers and their oil company supporters that got us were we are today by overthrowing Saddam. Most Christians had rather have Saddam back than the fundamental nut cases they have now running or taking over the country. Thank you GW Bush and gang.

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FreeSpiritMan says... August 8, 2014 at 11 a.m.

dddka ....... If you family was military in Iraq, would you want them to be brought up on charges and go before an Iraq court. The US did not want that either and the Iraqi government would not give any troops that remained immunity from prosecution. That is why we left NO troops period. You can spin the facts any way you and your wing nuts want, because facts do not enter into your reasoning.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... August 8, 2014 at 11:13 a.m.

FSM, would you re-read your post and edit it for us.

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lazybar says... August 8, 2014 at 11:16 a.m.

bsboy what about the kurds saddam gased, did you think they want saddam back?

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... August 8, 2014 at 11:21 a.m.

Obama has not sent one bullet to the Kurds to defend themselves from ISIS.

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