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US launched first airstrikes in Iraq

NEW DELHI (AP) -- The Pentagon says two U.S. fighter jets dropped bombs on Islamic militants in Iraq towing artillery outside Irbil near U.S. personnel.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby says two F/A-18 jets dropped 500-pound bombs on a piece of artillery and the truck towing it.

President Barack Obama authorized such airstrikes Thursday when the Islamic state militant group advanced on Irbil, in northeaster Iraq, where U.S. military trainers are stationed.

Here at home, at least one Iraq veteran is endorsing the airstrikes.     

In 2004 and 2005, Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty led a team of Americans embedded with over 700 Iraqi infantrymen and fought alongside Iraqis of all religious sects.

He says airstrikes are an appropriate way to help civilians and Iraqis fighting for freedom without putting US troops back on the ground.

Liberty says: I dont want to see the investment in young Americans lives go for naught, so I think if we can recover some of that investment in assisting with air power and taking back some of these territories, I would like to see us do so.

Liberty says these strikes are especially important to prevent genocide and he would even like to see more strikes in the north, where Kurds are also fighting insurgents.