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Obama says siege of Iraq's Mount Sinjar has been broken

WASHINGTON D.C. (AA) - The United States has successfully broken the Islamic State’s siege of Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, President Barack Obama has said. In a televised address Thursday he claimed the U.S. air strikes and aid missions had made a potential evacuation operation of Ezidis in the mountains unlikely.
Obama said: "We broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar, we helped vulnerable people reach safety and we helped save many innocent lives," he said, using an alternative name for the Islamic State.
"Because of these efforts, we do not expect there to be an additional operation to evacuate people off the mountain."
Obama authorized targeted air strikes last week to protect American personnel in the Kurdish region's capital Erbil and support Kurdish forces fighting the insurgents. The strikes gave civilians the time to escape, Obama said, adding that it was also unlikely the U.S. would carry out further aid drops. The U.S. has dropped more than 114,000 meals and 35,000 gallons of water, the president said.
Obama said most of the troops sent to Iraq to assess the humanitarian crisis would be pulled out "in the coming days."
IS militants captured Sinjar and Rabia in Nineveh province last week, forcing thousands of civilians to flee.

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