Washington: US President Barack Obama on Monday notified the Congress about his authorisation for conducting targeted airstrikes and humanitarian assistance to help Iraqis threatened by Islamic State (IS) militants.
In his notification to the Congress, Obama said on August 28, he "authorised US Armed Forces to conduct targeted airstrikes in support of an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians in the town of Amirli, Iraq, which is surrounded and besieged by ISIL."
In the northern Shiite town of Amirli, thousands of Shia Turkomen have been cut off from receiving food, water, and medical supplies for two months by IS militants.
The Islamic State group controls vast swaths of Syria and Iraq. It has killed civilians from that region and beheaded American journalist James Foley.
Pursuant to the authorisation, on August 30, US military forces began targeted airstrikes in the vicinity of Amirli, Iraq.
"These additional operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to address this emerging humanitarian crisis and protect the civilians trapped in Amirli," Obama said.
"The United States Air Force delivered aid to the town of Amirli alongside aircraft from Australia, France and the United Kingdom, who also dropped much needed supplies," said Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson of the National Security Council, the White House.
This operation is consistent with the military missions the US is having outlined to date in Iraq -? to protect its personnel and facilities and to address the humanitarian situation on the ground, she said.
Hayden said that these operations are being undertaken in coordination with and at the request of Iraq's government.
"The Administration will continue to consult with the Congress on the way forward in Iraq and our efforts against ISIL, and we will continue to provide appropriate reports to the Congress consistent with the War Powers Resolution," said Hayden.