U.S. warplanes bombed Islamist fighters marching toward Iraq's Kurdish capital after U.S. President Barack Obama said Washington must act to prevent genocide.
Islamic State militants have beheaded and crucified captives in their drive to eradicate the region of unbelievers and are within an hour's drive of Arbil, the Capital of Kurdish region and where U.S. oil companies are located.
"The artillery position that was maintained by ISIL that was struck by the American military early this morning east coast time, was focused on targets that were defending Arbil. The protection of American personnel in Iraq is top priority and one that merits the use of military force."
The jihadists have also seized control of Iraq's biggest dam in Mosul which, if sabotaged or destroyed, could be used to flood cities and cut off vital water and electricity supplies.
The Pentagon said two F/A 18 fighter jets from an American supercarrier in the Persian Gulf dropped laser-guided 500 pound bombs on the fighter artillery and other air strikes targeted mortor positions and convoys.
These are the first air strikes in Iraq since Obama evacuated all U.S. troops in 2011.
The U.S. says the move was made to protect Americans and safeguard hundreds of thousands of Christians and other religious groups running for their lives.
U.S. military aircraft also dropped humanitarian aid to thousands of Iraqi Christians and other ethnic minorities that are under threat in northern Iraq for the second straight night.
The supplies included nearly 29 thousand U.S. military rations and over 15-hundred gallons of drinking water.
Kim Hyun-bin ,Arirang News.