US drops more humanitarian aid for Iraqi refugees

Aug 10, 2014, 09:23 IST | Agencies

Military planes dropped over 28,000 ready-to-eat meals and 1,500 gallons of water on Sinjar Mountain in Iraq

Baghdad: The US dropped more food and water on Sinjar Mountain in northern Iraq to help thousands of refugees stranded under threat from the Islamic State (IS) Sunni insurgents yesterday.

Three military cargo planes, escorted by fighter jets, dropped more than 28,000 ready-to-eat meals and more than 1,500 gallons of fresh drinking water yesterday.

Iraqi military personnel distribute water to Shiite Iraqi Kurds displaced by fierce fighting between Kurdish forces and jihadist militants. Pic/AFP

Britain joined the humanitarian effort on Saturday. Two cargo planes carrying tents, blankets, food, water and solar lanterns left Britain's Royal Air Force station in Brize Norton, 105 km north-west of London.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said, “British relief supplies had been pre-positioned in the region and Royal Air Force planes would begin airdrops imminently. There will be a continuing drumbeat of airdrop operations in conjunction with the US,” Hammond said in a statement.

Meanwhile the Sunni Islamic militants have made fresh gains in northern Iraq and are threatening the capital of the Kurdish semi-autonomous region, Irbil, as the US has begun airstrikes against IS targets engaging Kurdish forces near Irbil.

US President Barack Obama said that he will not allow jihadist militants to carve out a “Caliphate” in Syria and Iraq as he vowed to continue the military action against the jihadist group if necessary.

He, however, stressed that US combat troops would not be “dragged into fighting another war in Iraq”. “We will protect our citizens. We will work with the international community to address this humanitarian crisis. We’ll help prevent these terrorists from having a permanent safe haven from which to attack America,” he said.

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