Obama orders action to prevent Iraq 'genocide'

President Barack Obama ordered US warplanes back into the skies over Iraq on Thursday to drop food to refugees and, if necessary, launch air strikes to halt what he said was a potential “genocide.” The US air armada’s first mission was to drop food and water to thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority besieged by Sunni extremist fighters from the so-called Islamic State. The president said US warplanes could also target Islamic State militants if they advance on the city of Arbil, where the US has a diplomatic presence and advisors to Iraqi forces. “We plan to stand vigilant and take action if they threaten our facilities anywhere in Iraq, including the consulate in Arbil and embassy in Baghdad,” he said.

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