Late yesterday the Obama administration authorized military strikes to prevent “a potential act of genocide” of religious minorities and to protect U.S. interests in the region.
“To stop the advance on Erbil, I’ve directed our military to take targeted strikes against Isis [IS] terrorist convoys should they move toward the city,” Obama said in a speech at the White House.
The Islamic State, formerly ISIS, captured a number of cities in northern Iraq on Thursday and was poised to take Erbil, the capitol and largest city in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
Erbil is home to the Consulate General of the United States.
Rudaw, a Kurdish news agency, reported that hundreds of IS terrorists were killed in the Pentagon operation:
The Rudaw website reported:
Kurdish sources told Rudaw that the US air campaign against IS positions had begun at 2 a.m. local time.
They said the positions hit were in Gwer and Makhmour in Nineveh province, where the Peshmerga have engaged the Islamists for days in intense fighting.
Sirwan Barzani, a Kurdish commander in Makhmour, said that US fighter jets had accurately struck IS artillery positions that were pounding Peshmerga forces near Gwer.
Kurdish forces have held back IS advances near Gwer, west of Erbil, in intense clashes for the past several days.