Officials: US destroys Islamic State vehicles in Iraq
Officials say US jets strike militant group's armored vehicles attacking civilians in a village in northern Iraq.

U.S. military jets destroyed two Islamic State armed vehicles in northern Iraq after receiving reports from Kurdish forces, according to American officials.

A U.S. Central Command statement Friday said that Kurdish forces reported that militants from the Islamic State were attacking civilians in the village of Kawju, south of the village of Sinjar -- about 80 miles (125 kilometers) west of the city of Mosul.

The so-called Islamic State seeks to establish a caliphate in the Middle East, particularly inIraq and Syria, erasing national boundaries drawn by Europeans in the wake of World War I.

U.S. aircraft identified Islamic State armed vehicles on a roadside south of Sinjar and, at about 10:10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (1410GMT), the jets destroyed two of the vehicles.

Militants from the Islamic State, which then called itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, captured Mosul in June and then surged across northern Iraq, taking control of several predominantly Sunni cities.

Peshmerga, the forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government, have been fighting fierce battles with the heavily armed Islamic State militants.

Although Islamic State forces have not been able to take over Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region, which lies 57 miles (92 kilometers) southwest of Mosul, the militants still pose a threat to the city.

The U.S. has launched several airstrikes on the Islamic State and its equipment in the past week, since President Barack Obama authorized U.S. forces to protect U.S. facilities in Erbil and allow humanitarian aid to reach civilians threatened by the militants.

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Last Modified: 2014-08-16 08:28:14
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