U.S. Mulls Action to Help Threatened Iraqis as ISIS Advances

TIME

The Pentagon is considering providing direct assistance to Iraqis threatened by advancing Sunni Islamist militants, as thousands of members of a persecuted religious minority remained under siege from militants in the northwest of the country with little food and water.

A defense official told TIME that the Iraqi government has already begun airdrops to people in need in northern Iraq and the U.S. is communicating with the Iraqi government about potentially providing “direct assistance wherever possible.”

Multiple news outlets, including CBS News and the New York Times, reported Thursday that the White House was considering boosting relief efforts, including airdrops or airstrikes, to support thousands of people from religious minorities in Iraq. A decision is expected as soon as today.

Thousands of people from the Yazidi minority—considered “devil worshippers” by the advancing Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS)—have fled their homes in the Sinjar region in northwestern Iraq and…

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