U.S. rescue mission of displaced Iraqis unlikely

U.S. F/A-18 fighter jets take off for mission in Iraq from the flight deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, in the Persian Gulf, Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. U.S. military officials said American fighter aircraft struck and destroyed several vehicles Sunday that were part of an Islamic State group convoy moving to attack Kurdish forces defending the northeastern Iraqi city of Irbil. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

The United States says a rescue mission of displaced people from Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq is unlikely after determining there are fewer people stranded there than previously thought.

The Pentagon said in a statement that U.S. officials who visited the mountain on August 13 say the several thousand people living there are in relatively good condition.

It was previously thought that there were tens of thousands of minority Yezidis and Christians on the mountain.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel credited airdrops of water and food of sustaining those on Mount Sinjar and said U.S. air strikes had pushed back Islamic State militants, allowing thousands to escape the mountain.

The United States had been considering a rescue mission on the mountain in the belief that their situation was dire.

Hagel said U.S. military and relief efforts will continue.

By Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty


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