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US assures Ezidis of 'careful' response in Iraq

The United States will act "carefully and responsibly" in its air strikes on Islamic State forces in northern Iraq, the president’s deputy national security advisor has told Ezidi community leaders. Ben Rhodes has met with Ezidis living in the U.S. to discuss the security and humanitarian situation in northern Iraq, deputy National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said. "Rhodes noted that the U.S. will act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide,” she added in a statement on Saturday. Thousands of Ezidi civilians have fled their homes in the face of attacks by IS, formerly known as ISIL. They are now sheltering on Mount Sinjar, where the U.S. Air Force has been dropping humanitarian aid. Meehan said Rhodes had stressed the U.S. strategy of assisting Iraqis to confront the crisis "by providing urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces and urging Iraq’s leaders to form an inclusive government that can address the legitimate concerns of all of Iraq’s diverse communities." Meanwhile, residents around Sinjar region told The Anadolu Agency that scores of Ezidis have died of thirst and heat since they fled their homes last weekend.

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