CNN reports that the U.S. has begun an airdrop mission in northern Iraq to assist about 40,000 refugees stranded on a mountain without food or water. The refugees are largely of the Yazidi sect, and they fled the nearby town of Sinjar after the extremist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria moved in.

The Obama administration is reportedly considering launching air strikes to beat back ISIS. Indeed, The New York Times reported this evening that the U.S. strikes had already begun, citing officials from the autonomous region of Kurdistan, but the Pentagon swiftly denied the claim.

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