United States Continues Air Strikes in Iraq

United States Congress

WASHINGTON – International – U.S. military forces conducted additional airstrikes today in Iraq, using fighter and attack aircraft to attack ISIL terrorists near Mosul Dam.

The strikes destroyed three ISIL armed vehicles, an ISIL vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft artillery gun, an ISIL checkpoint and an IED emplacement.

These strikes are in addition to the 14 strikes in the same vicinity announced earlier today by U.S. Central Command and the nine airstrikes conducted yesterday. All aircraft exited the strike area safely.

These strikes were conducted under authority to support Iraqi security forces and Kurdish defense forces as they work together to combat ISIL, as well as to protect critical infrastructure, U.S. personnel and facilities and support humanitarian efforts there.

Speaking to the press in Tehran, Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said Iran had “a very important role to play in helping us gain better access for humanitarian organizations in Syria and elsewhere.”

“I have had an important opportunity to discuss with Government partners ways in which we can strengthen our partnership to improve regional cooperation on humanitarian assistance and also to discuss the major humanitarian crises in the region.”

Ms. Amos said she had already met with the President of Iran’s National Disaster Management Organization to discuss ways to collaborate on information management, enhancing operational effectiveness, knowledge sharing and capacity building.

She had also met with Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif to talk about the humanitarian situations in Syria, Iraq and Gaza.

In Syria, almost 11 million people are in need, up from 1 million just three years ago, Ms. Amos said calling it an “unprecedented” crisis. Out of those, 4.7 million people live in areas that are hard to reach while 241,000 live in besieged communities.

In Iraq, people are facing an “unravelling” crisis, which has already caused one of the largest internal population displacements in the world.

“Attacks, systematic persecution and grave human rights abuses against civilians by the so-called Islamic State and other armed groups are outrageous,” she declared.

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