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US: Will continue to support Iraq security forces


08-11-2014 19:38 BJT

As the Islamic State militant fighters continued their operation in northern Iraq, US Secretary of Defence, Chuck Hagel, has reiterated that Washington will continue to support the Iraqi security forces in the battle.

"You all know what President Obama has said, ISIL is a threat to the civilised world, certainly to the United States, to our interests, it is to Europe, it is to Australia," Hagel said.

US President Barack Obama last week approved limited airstrikes against Islamic State fighters. The rapid rise of Islamic State fighters in June has plunged Iraq into its worst crisis since the end of 2011, when US troops withdrew at the end of an eight-year war.

On Sunday, the US launched a fourth round of airstrikes, and helped Kurdish forces retake two towns from the Sunni militants.

US warplanes and drones have also attacked militants firing on minority Yazidis around Sinjar, in the far west of the country near the Syrian border.

Senior US officials say the Obama administration have also begun directly providing weapons to Kurdish forces.

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