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More Airdrops, More Airstrikes in Iraq

The U.S. military has conducted more airdrops of food and water for thousands of Iraqi refugees fleeing fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Mount Sinjar, Iraq, Aug. 8, according to the DoD, and continued airstrikes on ISIL terrorists.

The second airdrop, which followed up an earlier mission on Aug. 7,  was conducted from several air bases in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility and again included one C-17 and two C-130 cargo aircraft. The three aircraft together dropped 72 bundles of supplies. The cargo aircraft were escorted by two F/A-18s from the USS George H.W. Bush, officials said.

The C-17 dropped 40 Container Delivery System (CDS) bundles of packaged meals. One of the C-130s dropped an additional 16 bundles containing 28,224 meals. The other C-130 dropped 16 bundles containing 1,522 gallons of fresh drinking water.

humanitarian rations

Airmen from the 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron palletize halal meals for a humanitarian airdrop mission over Iraq, Aug. 7, 2014, at a base in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. The humanitarian aid includes bottled water and food which was delivered to displaced citizens in the vicinity of Sinjar, Iraq. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.

Meanwhile, more airstrikes went in against ISIL targets near Erbil Aug. 8-9, according to Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby.

Two additional air strikes helped defend the city where U.S. personnel are assisting the government of Iraq, Kirby said in a statement.

“Thursday night, I made it clear that if they attempted to advance further, our military would respond with targeted strikes.  That’s what we’ve done.  And, if necessary, that’s what we will continue to do.” – President Barack Obama

Shortly after 10 a.m. EDT, remotely piloted aircraft struck a terrorist mortar position. When ISIL fighters returned to the site moments later, the terrorists were attacked again and successfully eliminated, he said.

Another attack at approximately 11:20 a.m. EDT, saw four F/A-18 aircraft successfully strike a stationary ISIL convoy of seven vehicles and a mortar position near Erbil. The aircraft made two attack runs. On both runs, each aircraft dropped one laser-guided bomb, making a total of eight bombs dropped on target, neutralizing the mortar and convoy, Kirby concluded.

A VFA-31 "Tomcatters" F/A-18E Super Hornet, armed with a Maverick missile, JDAM, and laser JDAMs, launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in late July. F/A-18s have escorted humanitarian airdrops and presumably carried out airstrikes against ISIL forces. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joseph R. Vincent

A VFA-31 “Tomcatters” F/A-18E Super Hornet, armed with a Maverick missile, JDAM, and laser JDAMs, launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in late July. Navy F/A-18s have escorted humanitarian airdrops and carried out airstrikes against ISIL forces. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joseph R. Vincent

President Barack Obama said the airdrops and airstrikes will continue as long as is necessary.

“This week, I authorized two operations in Iraq,” Obama said during his weekly address on Saturday.  “First, I directed our military to take action to protect our American diplomats and military advisors serving in the city of Erbil.  In recent days, terrorist forces neared the city.  Thursday night, I made it clear that if they attempted to advance further, our military would respond with targeted strikes.  That’s what we’ve done.  And, if necessary, that’s what we will continue to do.  We have Americans serving across Iraq, including our embassy in Baghdad, and we’ll do whatever is needed to protect our people.”

Meanwhile, U.S. military forces conducted four more airstrikes to defend Yezidi civilians being indiscriminately attacked by ISIL near Sinjar, CENTCOM officials said.

“Second, we’ve begun a humanitarian effort to help those Iraqi civilians trapped on that mountain. The terrorists that have taken over parts of Iraq have been especially brutal to religious minorities—rounding up families, executing men, enslaving women, and threatening the systematic destruction of an entire religious community, which would be genocide.”

U.S. forces carried out a third airdrop of food and water for the thousands of Iraqi citizens, mainly Christians and Yezidis, threatened by ISIL on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, and airstrikes against ISIL targets continued Saturday, U.S. Central Command officials said in a series of releases.

This airdrop was conducted from air bases in CENTCOM’s area of responsibility, officials said, and included one C-17 and two C-130 cargo aircraft that together dropped a total of 72 bundles of supplies. U.S. fighter aircraft in the area supported the mission.

The C-17 dropped 40 CDS bundles of fresh drinking water totaling 3,804 gallons. In addition, the two C-130s dropped 32 bundles containing 16,128 packaged meals.

water C-17

Water bundles aboard a C-17 Globemaster III prior to a humanitarian air drop, Aug. 8, 2014, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron aircrew air dropped 40 bundles of water for Iraqi refugees during a humanitarian air drop over Iraq. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.

U.S. airlift aircraft have to date delivered more than 52,000 meals and more than 10,600 gallons of fresh drinking water to the displaced Yezidis and others seeking refuge from ISIL on the mountain.

Meanwhile, U.S. military forces conducted four more airstrikes to defend Yezidi civilians being indiscriminately attacked by ISIL near Sinjar, CENTCOM officials said.

A mix of U.S. fighters and remotely piloted aircraft destroyed one of two ISIL armored personnel carriers firing on Yezidi civilians near Sinjar. After the strike, U.S. forces monitored movement of the second vehicle and subsequently located two ISIL armored personnel carriers and an armed truck nearby.

U.S. aircraft struck the vehicles, and all indications are that they were destroyed, officials said.

Later, U.S. aircraft located and struck another armored personnel carrier near Sinjar. This strike also apparently was successful, officials said.