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December 21, 2014

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New US strikes in Iraq include land-based bombers

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Khalid Mohammed / Associated Press

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take cover during airstrikes targeting Islamic State militants near the Khazer checkpoint outside of the city of Irbil in northern Iraq, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. Iraqi Air Force has been carrying out strikes against the militants, and for the first time on Friday, U.S. war planes have directly targeted the extremist Islamic State group, which controls large areas of Syria and Iraq.

WASHINGTON — The latest round of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State extremist group includes the first reported use of land-based bombers in the military campaign.

U.S. Central Command says a combination of bombers, fighter jets, attack planes and unmanned drones hit targets near Iraq's largest dam in Mosul. That's a wider array than in previous rounds of airstrikes.

Kurdish security officials say Kurdish forcers have taken over parts of the dam — aided by U.S. and Iraqi airstrikes.

It was less than two weeks ago that militants had captured the dam.

The U.S. military says U.S. forces conducted 14 airstrikes on Sunday — after nine strikes on Saturday.

The U.S. says Sunday's strikes damaged or destroyed 10 armed vehicles, seven Humvees, two armored personnel carriers and one checkpoint.

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