WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says far fewer refugees are stranded on Iraq's Sinjar Mountain and that it's far less likely that the U.S. will undertake a rescue mission there.
Speaking to reporters after returning to the Washington area Wednesday night, Hagel said airdrops of food and water had sustained the refugees and that airstrikes on Islamic State militants had allowed many of them to escape the mountain.
However, Hagel says that the U.S. effort in Iraq is not over and that it remains a troubled country.
U.S. officials say an assessment team has determined that only several thousand Iraqi refugees remain on Sinjar Mountain. Tens of thousands had been reported there last week.
Hagel says the assessment team reports that those remaining on the mountain are in relatively good condition.
US drone attacks, destroys armed truck in Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. military officials say a drone aircraft attacked and destroyed an armed truck operated by Islamic militants west of the village of Sinjar in northern Iraq.
The U.S. Central Command said in a brief statement that the attack happened at midday Wednesday, Washington time.
It said the truck that was targeted was located in the vicinity of a checkpoint operated by fighters of the Islamic State.
The attack was the latest in a string of airstrikes designed to ease the pressure on Iraqi civilians stranded on Sinjar Mountain.