US weighs mission to help besieged Turkmen in Iraq

Iraqi security forces and Turkmen Shiite fighters hold a position on August 4, 2014 in AmerliThe United States is weighing a possible humanitarian mission as well as air strikes to help Shiite Turkmen encircled by Islamic State jihadists in northern Iraq, US officials said Wednesday. If approved, the operation in Amerli could resemble US military action taken earlier this month to aid thousands of vulnerable Yazidis at Mount Sinjar, also in Iraq’s north, officials said. In that case, American cargo aircraft dropped food and water to the Yazidis while warplanes bombed Islamic State (IS) militants nearby. UN officials have warned of growing shortages of food and water in Amerli and that the Shiite Turkmen face a “possible massacre” if the town is overrun by Islamic State fighters.

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