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A Pentagon spokesman said U.S. military aircraft conducted an airstrike on Friday against Islamic State artillery used against Kurdish forces defending the city of Arbil, Iraq, near U.S. personnel. Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement that two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery near Arbil. President Barack Obama authorized air strikes on Iraq to protect Christians and avert “a potential act of genocide” of tens of thousands of members of the ancient Yazidi sect who have taken refuge on a desert mountaintop from Islamic State forces. The United States has also begun dropping relief supplies to the refugees.



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