Obama notifies Congress of ordering air strikes in Iraq

WASHINGTON, Sept 1 Mon Sep 1, 2014 12:32pm EDT

WASHINGTON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday formally notified Congress that he had authorized targeted air strikes in Iraq to help deliver a humanitarian aid to the besieged Shi'ite town of Amerli, the White House said in a statement.

Iraqi security forces backed by Shi'ite militias on Sunday broke the two-month siege of Amerli by Islamic State militants and entered the northern town, after U.S. military carried out air strikes on IS militant positions near the town and airdropped humanitarian supplies to the trapped residents there.

Obama has to notify Congress of the authorization under the the War Powers Resolution.

"This operation is consistent with the military missions we have outlined to date in Iraq - to protect U.S. personnel and facilities and to address the humanitarian situation on the ground," National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

(Reporting by Alina Selyukh Editing by W Simon)

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