Pentagon confirms new airstrikes on Islamic State

A combination of manned fighter jets and unmanned aircraft carried out the attacks, marking a fourth wave of strikes

A combination of manned fighter jets and unmanned aircraft carried out the attacks, marking a fourth wave of strikes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. launched five airstrikes on Islamic State militants near Erbil on Sunday in a bid to defend Kurdish forces, according to U.S. Central Command, the Pentagon's Middle East command.

A combination of manned fighter jets and unmanned aircraft carried out the attacks that destroyed three armed trucks and a mortar position between roughly 6:15 a.m. GMT and 11:25 a.m. GMT. An armed truck and unspecified armed vehicle were also damaged. 

Sunday's attacks are the fourth wave of airstrikes after U.S. President Barack Obama authorized them on Thursday in support of U.S. personnel in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil and forces in Iraq.

On Saturday, President Obama warned it was "going to take some time" to help stabilize Iraq in the face of the Islamic State insurgency.

Armed groups linked to the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, captured Iraq's Sinjar and Rabia in the Nineveh province last week after intense clashes, forcing thousands of Iraqis including Turkmen, Arabs and Ezidis to flee.

The violence in Iraq escalated in early June after a coalition of armed groups linked to the Islamic State took control of large swathes of the country's mostly Sunni provinces.

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