US launches airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq

US launches airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq

Photo document of Kurdish (Peshmerga) troops at Makhmur, Iraq, Monday (August 18, 2014). (REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal)

Kuwait City (ANTARA News/ITAR-TASS-OANA) - The U.S. Air Force launched airstrikes on the Islamic State positions near Iraqs second largest dam on Sunday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

At the request of the Iraqi government, U.S. forces conducted co-ordinated airstrikes on the Islamic State positions near the Haditha dam in Anbar province (in the west of the country), Iraqi media quote Kirby. He added it was a preventive strike on the extremists to thwart their attempt to damage the strategic hydro-technical facility.

This airstrike is the first in the Anbar province since the American forces launched the campaign for the support if the Iraqi military and Kurdish units (Peshmerga fighters) in the north of the country.

On September 6, the Pentagon said, "A mix of attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted two airstrikes, destroying four IS Humvees, one IS armoured personnel carrier, and two IS trucks one of which carried a mounted machine gun; one IS Humvee and one IS truck were also damaged in the strikes. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely."

"The strikes were conducted under authority to protect U.S. personnel and facilities, support humanitarian efforts and support Iraqi forces that are acting in furtherance of these objectives," the U.S. Department of Defence said.

"U.S. Central Command has conducted a total of 133 airstrikes across Iraq since operations began Aug. 8," the Pentagon said.