Mount Sinjar, near Mosul and Kirkuk Aug. 8, 2014 -
US warplanes have bombed ISIS locations in Iraq near the Kurdish city of Erbil and that the US has air-dropped food and other relief items to Iraqi citizens who had fled the militants.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has forced tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens from their homes near the border of the Kurdish semiautonomous region.
Among those fleeing are Christians from Qaraqosh (sometimes called Bakhdida), which is 13 miles southeast of Mosul.
Previous action of ISIS in Syria has illustrated its growing success. ISIS is an al-Qaeda splinter group that wants to establish a Sunni caliphate, starting in Syria and Iraq but expanding as it is able.
ISIS earlier this year captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and Baiji, one of the largest refineries in Iraq.
For more on the origin of the fight, read our Syria background information page.