US launches airstrikes near Irbil, Mosul Dam

Sailors carry a missile at sunset on the flight deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014 in the Persian Gulf.
Sailors carry a missile at sunset on the flight deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014 in the Persian Gulf.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say a mix of fighter planes and remotely piloted aircraft have attacked Islamic State militants near the Iraqi city of Irbil and the Mosul Dam.

In a statement, U.S. Central Command said the airstrikes Saturday were launched under the authority to support humanitarian efforts in Iraq, as well as to protect U.S. personnel and facilities.

Central Command says the nine airstrikes conducted so far had destroyed or damaged four armored personnel carriers, seven armed vehicles, two Humvees and an armored vehicle.

The Islamic State group captured Mosul Dam, in northern Iraq on the Tigris River, earlier this month. It is the nation’s largest dam.

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