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USA has started targeting forces of Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq. Several US air strikes have taken out heavy weaponry that Islamic State captured from Iraqi army. President Obama said new attacks are to protect American residents in Erbil, capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region. IS recently changed its name from ISIS ( Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). group now controls quarter of Iraq (including country's largest dam), and third of Syria. Mr Obama made it clear that there would be no boots on ground. He said: "Even as we support Iraqis as they take fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq."

Another reason for air strikes on IS is to protect Iraq's Yazidi people and other minority groups. The Yazidis are ethnically Kurdish. Their religion includes elements of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism. The IS told Yazidis to convert to Islam, pay tax, or face death. Earlier this week UN warned of humanitarian catastrophe with possibility of ethnic cleansing at hands of IS. The IS have reportedly taken hundreds of Yazidi women hostage. Obama said latest US military action is also, " humanitarian effort to help save thousands of [Yazidis] who are trapped on mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death".

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