U.S. Approves Humanitarian Air Drops to Iraq, Denies Bombing Jihadists

U.S. military forces said to have struck at least two Islamic State targets in Northern Iraq, the New York Times reports.

A member of Iraqi security forces, north of Baghdad, August 6, 2014.
A member of Iraqi security forces, north of Baghdad, August 6, 2014. Reuters

Media reports that the United States has struck targets in Iraq are not accurate, a Pentagon spokesman said on Thursday, as Islamist militants advanced across northern Iraq.

The New York Times quoted Kurdish officials, who said the bombings targeted Islamic State fighters who had seized two towns, Gwer and Mahmour. The officials described efforts by U.S. military forces to rout Islamist insurgents who trapped tens of thousands of religious minorities in Kurdish areas.

"Press reports that U.S. has conducted airstrikes in Iraq completely false," Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a post on his Twitter feed. "No such action taken."

Kirby's statement came as U.S. officials said that the Obama administration has approved military air drops of humanitarian supplies in northern Iraq and is considering strikes against fighters from the Islamic State, an Al-Qaida offshoot.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council condemned on Thursday recent attacks by Islamic State militants in Iraq and called for international support for the country after the 15-member body held an emergency meeting on the situation.

"The members of the Security Council call on the international community to support the government and people of Iraq and to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering of the population affected by the current conflict in Iraq," said Britain's UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, president of the council for August.

This is the third council statement related to the offensive by Islamic State.