Transcript for Pentagon Says US Airstrikes, Airdrops Succeed in Iraq
And he'll stay there. To the crisis in Iraq American troops on the ground assessing the situation where refugees are trapped by militant extremists and we're learning the situation on the ground may not be as bad as first thought. ABC's Martha Raddatz has the very latest. She joins us this morning from Washington. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning. This morning the Pentagon says those air strikes and humanitarian airdrops with another one overnight have broken the siege on that mountain where so many have been stranded, meaning that potential rescue which could have involved U.S. Ground troops has been put on hold. A small U.S. Team of Marines and special forces landed on Mt. Sinjar Wednesday to assess the options for a rescue. But what they found, far fewer refugees than expected and many in much better shape. While there were fears that tens of thousands were trapped on the mountain, with the Iraqi rescues and people making their own way down the mountain, the number is now believed to be only in the thousands and the Pentagon says all have access to the food and water from those U.S. Airdrops. Air strikes too diminishing the number of Isis militants surrounding the mountain. The white house acknowledging the U.S. Was considering sending U.S. Forces to help with what could have been a dangerous rescue. Although insisting they would not be combat troops. But the apparent success of the airdrops does not mean the crisis is over. To the east of the mountain in erbil ill-equipped kurdish forces are struggling to halt forces from Isis forces armed with heavy weapons stolen from Iraqi security forces. Isis tanks, their artillery they captured from the Iraqi army depots, they cannot match up to that outgunned after overmatched. Reporter: The U.S. Is providing weapons, but not fast enough for the forces on the ground. As for that potential rescue, the U.S. Has surveillance aircraft in place and if the situation deteriorates, the military could move in.
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