The U.S. conducted its first airstrike against Islamic militants outside the Kurdish city of Irbil in Iraq on Friday, the Pentagon confirmed.
Military aircraft dropped two 500-pound bombs on ISIL artillery being used to shell Kurdish forces. Obama authorized targeted airstrikes in Iraq on Thursday evening, along with a humanitarian mission to aid thousands of refugees who fled to a nearby mountaintop.
"To stop the advance on Irbil, I've directed our military to take targeted strikes against ISIL terrorist convoys should they move toward the city," he said in a statement from the White House. "We intend to stay vigilant, and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate in Irbil and our embassy in Baghdad. We're also providing urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces so they can more effectively wage the fight against ISIL."