First video of US air strike aftermath in Northern Iraq
WASHINGTON – INTERNATIONAL – Warplanes from the United States bombed Islamist fighters marching on Iraq’s Kurdish capital on Friday after President Barack Obama said Washington must act to prevent “genocide”.
Islamic State fighters, who have beheaded and crucified captives in their drive to eradicate unbelievers, have advanced to within a half hour’s drive of Arbil, capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region and a hub for U.S. oil companies. They have also seized control of Iraq’s biggest dam, Kurdish authorities confirmed on Friday, which could allow them to flood cities and cut off vital water and electricity supplies.
A Pentagon spokesman said two F/A-18 United States Air Force jets from an aircraft carrier in the Gulf had dropped laser-guided 500-pound bombs on a mobile artillery piece used by the fighters to shell Kurdish forces defending Arbil.
Obama authorized the first U.S. air strikes on Iraq since he pulled all troops out in 2011, arguing action was needed to halt the Islamist advance, protect Americans and safeguard hundreds o
The U.S. military continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant targets near Irbil in northern Iraq today, conducting two additional airstrikes to help defend the city where U.S. personnel are assisting the Iraqi government, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
Shortly after 10 a.m. EDT, remotely piloted aircraft struck a terrorist mortar position, Kirby said in a statement. When ISIL fighters returned to the site moments later, he added, the terrorists were attacked again and were killed.
At about 11:20 a.m. EDT, four F/A-18 aircraft successfully struck a stationary ISIL convoy of seven vehicles and a mortar position near Irbil.”The aircraft executed two planned passes,” Kirby said. “On both runs, each aircraft dropped one laser guided bomb making a total of eight bombs dropped on target, neutralizing the mortar and convoy.”