US airstrikes aimed at protecting refugees, Americans in Iraq - CBS 5 - KPHO

US airstrikes aimed at protecting refugees, Americans in Iraq

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ISIS terrorists have taken huge areas of territory in northern and western Iraq, and in Syria. (Source: CNN) ISIS terrorists have taken huge areas of territory in northern and western Iraq, and in Syria. (Source: CNN)
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WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) - President Barack Obama has authorized airstrikes in Iraq.

The U.S. military steps in as the violence continues in Iraq.

The president has authorized the action, but he says American combat troops will not be returning to the fight.

"I've directed our military to take targeted strikes against ISIL terrorist convoys, should they move towards the city,” the president said of Irbil in northern Iraq. 

In part to protect hundreds of American military advisers working with Iraqi security forces.

"We intend to stay vigilant and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq,” he said.

ISIS, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State, has made huge advances in Iraq this year. Their fighters have been ruthless, demanding people to convert to Islam or die.

The largest Christian city has been overrun, and thousands of families from the Yazidi religious minority are reportedly trapped in the mountains of northern Iraq without food or water.

"The ISIS informed the Shehan area that they needed to evacuate the area and all the Yazidis and Christians evacuate to the Turkish border,” said Basim Alali, a member of the U.S. Yazidi community. “There is a catastrophes there. The people, they are suffering."

Throngs of refugees are now on the run. Over the last two days, the United Nations estimates as many as 200,000 people headed for Kurdistan.

"When many thousands of innocent civilians are faced with the danger of being wiped out and we have the capacity to do something about it, we will take action,” Obama said.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

 

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