Australia will join the US and other Western nations in carrying out airdrops of humanitarian aid and military equipment to Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq. Julie Noce reports.
Residents in the northern Iraqi town of Amerli are evacuated to safety. Scenes like these have been ongoing for weeks as tensions mount between members of Islamic State and the some 15,000 residents who remain trapped. Iraqi army and Kurdish forces have managed to make some headway against militants but have asked the international community for help. Saturday night, the U.S. military carried out airstrikes against the Islamic State and along with aircraft from Australia, various European nations, airdropped humanitarian supplies to the region. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. (SOUNDBITE)(English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER TONY ABBOTT SAYING: "We have agreed to join this airlift at the request of the (U.S. President Barack Obama) Obama administration in the United States and with the permission of the Iraqi government." U.S. President Barack Obama said the military operations were necessary in part to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe for thousands of ethnic Yazidis whom Islamic State militants regard as apostates of Islam.