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Airstrikes pound ISIS targets near lraq dam

 

Airstrikes pounded the area around Iraq's largest dam near Mosul on Saturday, to drive back Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants who had captured it eariler this month, according to the Associated Press. 

It was not clear whether they were U.S. or Iraqi airstrikes. The last announced U.S. airstrikes came Friday morning around 10:10 a.m. EDT. In that strike, U.S. armed drones took out two armed ISIS vehicles south of the Sinjar village. 

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The strikes were taken after receiving reports from Kurdish forces that ISIS terrorists were attacking civilians in the village of Kawju, located south of the Sinjar, according to U.S. Central Command. The vehicles and fighters were destroyed. 

But Saturday's strikes focused on targets around the Mosul Dam, which ISIS seized on August 7. 

At the same time, news reports emerged that ISIS militants had massacred 80 male members of the Yazidi sect, an Iraqi minority religious group. Tens of thousands of its members fled into Mt. Sinjar after the Islamic group reportedly massacred hundreds. 

A Yazidi lawmaker and a Kurdish security official told the AP that ISIS massacred the men after seizing the village of Kocho, and that the minority group remains in danger despite U.S. airdrops of humanitarian aid and airstrikes to protect them. 

ISIS had besieged the village for several days, and when members refused to convert to Islam, they were massacred and the women and children taken to the nearby city of Tal Afar, which is under ISIS control, Yazidi lawmaker Mahma Khalil said. 

Earlier this week, a U.S. military assessment team landed on Mt. Sinjar, and said that only four to five thousand Yazidis were on top, after many escaped from the mountain due to U.S. airstrikes and airdrops of food, water, and medical supplies. 

Although Britain and Germany continued to ferry in humanitarian supplies to the Yazidis, after the latest massacre, Khalil said it "seems that nobody is listening."

"We have been calling on the U.S. administration and Iraqi government to intervene and help the innocent people, but it seems that nobody is listening," Khalil said.