US sends disaster relief teams to Iraq

Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community carry humanitarian aid at the camp of Bajid Kandala at Feeshkhabour town near the Syria-Iraq border, in Iraq Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)
Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community carry humanitarian aid at the camp of Bajid Kandala at Feeshkhabour town near the Syria-Iraq border, in Iraq Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. is deploying a disaster response team to Iraq help distribute humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of people who have been forced from their homes in the fresh wave of violence in the country’s north.

U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah said Monday the team will help speed food, water and other life-saving supplies to Iraqis.

Much of the assistance will go to thousands of members of an Iraqi religious minority group known as Yazidis who have been trapped on a mountaintop in northwest Iraq to escape certain death by Sunni militants with the Islamic State group.

Shah said the U.S. teams would help coordinate the assistance distribution among Iraqi officials, international partners and humanitarian aid agencies.

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