A deteriorating situation in Iraq as Islamic State militants continued seizing control of the northern part of the country: Extremists pushed into territories controlled by Kurdish forces, causing thousands of civilians to flee. Many of those fleeing were religious minorities, including Christians and members of an ancient sect called the Yazidi. The US authorized airstrikes and air drops of humanitarian aid for tens of thousands of Yazidi trapped with little food or water. Officials say they are in danger of being wiped out completely.
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