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Obama says 'authorized' targeted US strikes on Iraq 

US President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq at the White House in Washington, DC, August 7, 2014President Barack Obama said he had authorized US forces to conduct air strikes against Sunni extremist militants in Iraq if they are needed to prevent a massacre of civilians. “We can act, carefully and responsibly to prevent a potential act of genocide,” Obama said, referring to a religious minority group besieged by fighters from the so-called Islamic State. “I therefore authorized targeted air strikes if necessary to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege and protect the civilians trapped there.” US military planes returned to the skies over northern Iraq on Thursday to deliver food and water to thousands of civilian refugees fleeing an onslaught by Sunni extremist militants.

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