WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. launched two more airstrikes against Islamic State targets in northern Iraq on Friday, hitting a vehicle convoy and two mortar positions, the Pentagon said.
The attacks near the city of Irbil were carried out by armed drones and Navy fighter jets, said the Defense Department's press secretary, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby.
Smoke rises after airstrikes targeting Islamic State militants near the Khazer checkpoint outside of the city of Irbil in northern Iraq, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. Iraqi Air Force has been carrying out strikes against the militants, and for the first time on Friday, U.S. war planes have directly targeted the extremist Islamic State group, which controls large areas of Syria and Iraq. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)
The drone struck a mortar position, and when Islamic State fighters returned to the site moments later they were attacked again and killed, Kirby said.
Separately, four Navy F/A-18 fighter jets struck a stationary convoy of seven vehicles and a mortar position outside Irbil, he said. The jets flew off the USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier and dropped a total of eight laser-guided bombs.
The Friday strikes followed an air attack earlier in the day on an Islamic State artillery gun that was firing on Kurdish troops near U.S. personnel, officials said. President Barack Obama said late Thursday that the U.S. would launch airstrikes on the militant group that was threatening American military trainers in the northeastern Iraq city.