WASHINGTON – The U.S. is expanding its air campaign in Iraq with attacks aimed at helping Iraqi forces regain control of the strategic Mosul dam.

The White House said President Barack Obama notified Congress Sunday that the widened mission would be limited in duration and scope.

The White House says “the mission is consistent with the president’s directive that the U.S. military protect U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq, since the failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians and threaten U.S. personnel and facilities – including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.”

The latest round of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State extremist group includes the first reported use of land-based bombers in the military campaign.

Kurdish security officials say Kurdish forces, aided by U.S. and Iraqi airstrikes, have now taken over parts of the dam.


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