Sources: US considering new relief mission in Iraq

Iraqi men move a boat that was stuck on the banks of the Euphrates river in Twairij, roughly 20 kilometres east of Karbala, due to a decline in the water level after supplies were blocked by anti-government fighters who control access to a dam further upstream in conflict-hit Anbar province.

Iraqi men move a boat that was stuck on the banks of the Euphrates river in Twairij, roughly 20 kilometres east of Karbala, due to a decline in the water level after supplies were blocked by anti-government fighters who control access to a dam further upstream in conflict-hit Anbar province.

WASHINGTON: US defense officials say the Obama administration is considering launching a humanitarian relief operation for Shiite Turkmen in northern Iraq who have been under siege for weeks by Islamic State militants.

The imperiled town of Amirli is about 105 miles (169 kilometers) north of Baghdad and just a few miles from Kurdish territory. About 12,000 to 15,000 people are estimated to have no access to food or water.

The United Nation’s top representative in Iraq earlier this week called for relief there.

Three US defense officials said a humanitarian mission is under consideration. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they could not discuss internal administration deliberations by name. It could be similar to the humanitarian airdrops of food and water to Iraq’s Sinjar area earlier this month, which included airstrikes.

 
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