From VOA Learning English, this is In The News.
The United States military bombed Islamic State militants in northern Iraq on Friday. A Defense Department official said U.S.airplanes dropped laser-guided bombs on militant artillery positions near the city of Irbil. The Islamists reportedly had used the artillery against Iraqi Kurdish forces defending the city.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama ordered the U.S. military to carry out "targeted airstrikes" against the militants. The Islamic State was formerly known as ISIL -- the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant.
The president said the military operation is part of a combined effort to support Kurdish forces in the north. Another goal,he said, is to provide humanitarian aid to Iraqi civilians threatened by militant action.
"Today I authorized two operations in Iraq: targeted air strikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death."
Mr. Obama spoke hours after U.S. aircraft dropped humanitarian aid on Iraq's Mount Sinjar. Thousands of displaced Iraqis have been living there for days without food, water or shelter. They fled up the mountain to escape from the Islamic State militants.
The refugees are mainly Christians or members of the Yazidi religious group. The militants are Sunni Muslims. They have threatened to kill non-Muslims if they reject Islam's teachings. They are also carrying out attacks on Muslims who are not Sunnis.
President Obama says the United States should act if it has the ability to avoid a humanitarian crisis.
"We can act carefully and responsibly to prevent a potential act of genocide. That's what we're doing on that mountain. I've therefore authorized targeted air strikes if necessary to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege of Mount Sinjar and protect the civilians trapped there."
The president ordered air strikes against ISIL vehicles if they moved toward Irbil. He also approved strikes anywhere else in Iraq where the militants threaten American personnel and property.
On Friday, Britain expressed support for Mr. Obama's approval of air strikes. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon announced that his country would take part in the effort to aid Iraqi refugees.
The air strikes this week represent the biggest use of American military force in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew from the country in 2011. The Iraq War lasted more than eight years.
President Obama said on Thursday that he would not send ground troops back to Iraq. His administration has faced public pressure to avoid new involvement in foreign conflicts.
Militants Push Toward Kurdish Areas
In recent days, Islamic State forces and other militants have made gains against Kurdish forces in northern Iraq. The United States has a diplomatic office and military advisors in Irbil. The militants defeated the Kurdish forces in several towns.
The group also says it has taken control of a major dam on the Tigris River. This would give militants control of power and water that supplies Baghdad.
Iraq Continues to Suffer from Political Problems
Iraq's ability to answer the militant offensive has been slowed by a political leadership dispute. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has faced repeated calls to leave office. His group won the most seats in a national election earlier this year, but efforts to form a new government have failed.
And that's In The News from VOA Learning English.
I'm Christopher Cruise.
1.authorize vt. 授权，批准
We are willing to authorize the president to use force if necessary.
2.reject vt. 拒绝；抛弃，扔掉；排斥
We reject any suggestion that the law needs amending.
3.teaching n. 教义
...the teachings of Jesus.
4.approval n. 同意；批准
A reformed party would have to win the approval of the people.
5.diplomatic adj. 外交上的；外交人员的
My limited diplomatic skills were tested to the utmost.
1.They are also carrying out attacks on Muslims who are not Sunnis.
The Navy is to carry out an examination of the wreck tomorrow.
2.I've therefore authorized targeted air strikes if necessary to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege of Mount Sinjar and protect the civilians trapped there.
They were ready to die, if necessary, for their country.
3.In recent days, Islamic State forces and other militants have made gains against Kurdish forces in northern Iraq.
One group may indeed make gains-while the rest of us take the losses.
周五，美国军队轰炸了伊拉克北部伊斯兰国武装分子。国防部一名官员表示，美国飞机向北部城市伊尔比尔附近武装炮火据点发射了激光制导炸弹 。据报道，伊斯兰分子使用这些大炮袭击保卫这座城市的伊拉克库尔德力量 。
美国飞机向伊拉克辛加山空投了人道主义救援物资之后几小时，奥巴马总统发表讲话。数千名无家可归的伊拉克人已经在这里逗留了多日，没有水，食物和庇护所 。他们逃往山上，逃离伊斯兰国武装分子的迫害 。
难民主要是基督徒或雅兹迪教派成员。激进分子是逊尼派穆斯林 。他们威胁如果他们拒绝伊斯兰教义，将杀害非穆斯林教众 。他们还对非逊尼派穆斯林实施了袭击 。
“我们应该谨慎负责地避免一场潜在的种族大屠杀。我们在山上的行动就是出于这个目的 。我已经授权如果必要的话采取有针对性的袭击，帮助伊拉克力量打破辛加山的围困，保护被困的平民 。”
周五，英国表达了对奥巴马赞同空袭的支持。国防大臣迈克尔·法伦(Michael Fallon)宣布，英国将参加援助伊拉克难民的工作 。
近日，伊斯兰国力量和其他武装分子在对抗伊拉克北部库尔德力量的战争中取得胜利。美国在伊尔比尔地区设有外交办公室和军事顾问 。武装分子在几个城镇击败了库尔德力量 。该组织还宣称他们控制了底格里斯河上一个主要的大坝 。这将使得武装分子控制供应巴格达的电力和水力 。
伊拉克应对武装分子袭击的能力受到政治领导争端的阻滞。总理马利基多次面临下台的呼声 。在今年年初的全国选举中，他的党派赢得了大部分席位，但是组建新政府的努力以失败告终 。