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The U.S. unleashed its first airstrikes in northern Iraq against militants of the Islamic State group Friday amid a worsening humanitarian crisis. According to an Iraqi official, while thousands of other civilians fled in fear, the extremists took captive hundreds of women from a religious minority. Many of America’s allies backed the U.S. intervention, pledging urgent steps to assist the legions of refugees and displaced people. Those in jeopardy included thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority whose plight — trapped on a mountaintop by the militants — prompted the U.S. to airdrop crates of food and water to them.



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