US Strike Near Baghdad Marks New Phase in Fight

Strikes on ISIS were in direct support of Iraqi military
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2014 12:21 AM CDT
US Strike Near Baghdad Marks New Phase in Fight
An Iraqi man reads a newspaper with front-page headlines reporting President Obama's plan to battle Islamic State militants last week.   (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

An American airstrike in Iraq yesterday was the 162nd since early August—but unlike the previous 161, this one took place near Baghdad and marked what Central Command calls the start of "our expanded efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions," the Guardian reports. The strike was in direct support of Iraqi security forces who requested assistance fighting ISIS militants, and came as part of the new US policy to hit the militants "wherever they exist," the AP reports.

According to Central Command, the US strike destroyed an ISIS position that had been firing on Iraqi forces just 22 miles southwest of the Iraqi capital, reports CNN. Another American strike yesterday hit militants near Sinjar in northern Iraq, Central Command says. At a conference in Paris yesterday, a coalition of 27 countries—including 10 Arab ones—discussed the fight against ISIS and were told by French President Francois Hollande there is "no time to lose," reports the Telegraph. Iran's supreme leader, meanwhile, says he rejected a US request to join an anti-ISIS coalition because of America's "murky intentions." (Read more Iraq stories.)

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