U.S. Launches Airstrikes Against Militants in Iraq

According to a statement from the Pentagon, the U.S. launched airstrikes in Iraq this morning, targeting ISIS militants. President Obama authorized the strikes just hours before. The U.S. has also reportedly banned U.S. airlines from flying in Iraq's airspace because of a "hazardous situation created by armed conflict."

The Wall Street Journal reports that "U.S. F-18 jet fighters dropped 500 pound laser guided bombs on mobile artillery positions outside Erbil [the Kurdish capital]." ISIS has been advancing on Erbil and other key cities across Iraq and Syria.

In a press conference yesterday announcing authorization for the strikes, Obama reiterated that he won't be sending combat troops to Iraq. (Some troops are already there to "advise" the Iraqi military.) "I know many of you are concerned about any military action in Iraq, even limited strikes like these," he said. "I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq...American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq."

[Image via AP]