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The spokesman for the Iraqi armed forces says the Iraqi air force will help Kurdish military forces fight Sunni militants in northern Iraq. Lt. Gen. Qassim Atta’s statement Monday said the air force will provide aerial support to the Kurdish armed forces. The move is significant because relations between the autonomous Kurds and the government have been tense lately. Iraq is facing its worst crisis since the 2006 civil war when the Islamic State group captured large swaths of land in the country’s west and north — including Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which fell to the militants in June. Kurdish fighters are struggling to blunt a new militant offensive that has captured the towns of Sinjar and Zumar and sent tens of thousands fleeing.

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