BEIRUT

Middle East

US considering new relief mission in Iraq

Pallets of bottled water loaded aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in preparation for a humanitarian air drop over Iraq August 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr/U.S. Air Force)

WASHINGTON: U.S. defense officials say the Obama administration is considering launching a humanitarian relief operation for Shiite Turkmen in northern Iraq who have been under siege for weeks by Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) militants.

The imperiled town of Amirli is about 169 kilometers north of Baghdad and just a few miles from Kurdish territory. About 12,000 to 15,000 people are estimated to have no access to food or water.

The United Nation's top representative in Iraq earlier this week called for relief there.

Three U.S. defense officials said a humanitarian mission is under consideration. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they could not discuss internal administration deliberations by name. It could be similar to the humanitarian air drops of food and water to Iraq's Sinjar area earlier this month, which included airstrikes.

 

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