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UN begins huge aid drop in Iraq

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The UN has begun what is says is its largest aid
operation for a decade as it attempts to reach more
than 500,000 people in northern Iraq.
A jet carrying 100 tonnes of tents and cooking
equipment arrived in Irbil, with more flights expected.

There are now more than 1.2 million internally
displaced people across Iraq, the UN says.

The aid operation comes amid continuing US air
strikes targeting militants from the Islamic State (IS)
group.

IS forces have captured large parts of northern Iraq
in recent weeks.

The US said it had carried out nearly a dozen strikes
since Tuesday. It has now launched over 90 strikes on IS targets.

The strikes have continued despite the beheading of
American journalist James Foley, which an IS militant
said was in revenge for US action in Iraq.
The US has asked for additional security in Iraq,
which could include up to 300 troops, a senior official
has said.

The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, says it
hopes to bring in nearly 2,500 tons of supplies to
Iraqi Kurdistan in the next ten days.

More aid is due to arrive by truck from Turkey,
Jordan and Iran.

An estimated 1.2 million Iraqis have been displaced
so far in 2014, according to the UN agency – more
than 500,000 from fighting in the Anbar region, and
another 600,000 displaced from conflicts around
Mosul and more recently Sinjar.

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