It looks like the US won't have to launch a mass evacuation of Iraqis trapped on a mountain after all. A small team of American military personnel who spent 24 hours on Mount Sinjar said US airstrikes seem to have done the trick—most of the trapped Yazidis who wanted to flee to safety have done so, reports the New York Times. As a result, defense chief Chuck Hagel said a rescue mission is "far less likely now," reports the AP.
Exact numbers weren't available, but CNN quotes a Pentagon spokesman as saying that "far fewer" Yazidis were on the mountain than expected. He estimated "several thousand" but said many wanted to stay there because their homes are nearby. Earlier, the US deployed 130 troops to Iraq, and President Obama said he would be willing to use those troops as part of a rescue mission.