Hagel: Far fewer Iraqi refugees now on Sinjar Mt.

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Associated Press

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 8:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says far fewer refugees are stranded on Iraq's Sinjar Mountain and that it's far less likely that the U.S. will undertake a rescue mission there.

Speaking to reporters after returning to the Washington area Wednesday night, Hagel said airdrops of food and water had sustained the refugees and that airstrikes on Islamic State militants had allowed many of them to escape the mountain.

However, Hagel says that the U.S. effort in Iraq is not over and that it remains a troubled country.

U.S. officials say an assessment team has determined that only several thousand Iraqi refugees remain on Sinjar Mountain. Tens of thousands had been reported there last week.

Hagel says the assessment team reports that those remaining on the mountain are in relatively good condition.

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