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WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said Friday that it launched an airstrike against Islamic militants in northern Iraq, hours after President Obama authorized American airstrikes against the rebels and humanitarian drops to aid refugees.
The Pentagon said two FA-18 fighter-attack planes dropped 500-pound, laser-guided munitions on a mobile artillery place near Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region.
The jets came from the USS George HW Bush, an aircraft carrier operating in the Persian gulf, according to a Defense Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military details.
The president had said Thursday night airstrikes would be used if the militants threatened Irbil, home to a U.S. consulate and a joint U.S.-Iraqi operations center.
“As the president made clear, the United States military will continue to take direct action against ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) when they threaten our personnel and facilities,” Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.
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