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Islamic fighters execute scores of Yazidi men in Iraq

U.S. says airstrikes target insurgentswho captured dam.



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Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled earlier this month when the Islamic State group captured the town of Sinjar, near the Syrian border.

The plight of the Yazidis motivated U.S. and Iraqi forces to launch aid drops. It also contributed to the U.S. decision to launch airstrikes against the militants, who were advancing on the Kurdish regional capital Irbil.

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But the Islamic State group remains in control of vast swaths of northeastern Syria and northern and western Iraq, and the scale of the humanitarian crisis prompted the U.N. to declare its highest level of emergency earlier this week.

Some 1.5 million people have been displaced by fighting since the Islamic State’s rapid advance began in June.

The decision to launch airstrikes marked the first direct U.S. military intervention in Iraq since the last troops withdrew in 2011 and reflected growing international concern about the extremist group.

Khalil, the Yazidi lawmaker, said the U.S. must do more to protect those fleeing the Islamic State fighters.

"We have been calling on the U.S. administration and Iraqi government to intervene and help the innocent people," Khalil said. "But it seems that nobody is listening."

The United States was not alone in its efforts to ease the dangers in the region.

On Saturday, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said it deployed a U.S.-made spy plane over northern Iraq to monitor the humanitarian crisis and movements of the militants. The converted Boeing KC-135 tanker, called a Rivet Joint, was to monitor mobile phone calls and other communication.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was in Baghdad on Saturday, where he announced his government would provide more than 24 million euros ($32.2 million) in humanitarian aid to Iraq.


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Also Saturday, two British planes landed in the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil carrying humanitarian supplies.

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Yacoub reported from Baghdad. Associated Press writers Vivian Salama in Baghdad, Frank Jordans in Berlin and Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin contributed to this report.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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