U.S. airstrikes ISIS near Baghdad

September 15, 2014
Civilians inspect a burned house after a bombing in Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. (AP Photo)

Civilians inspect a burned house after a bombing in Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials said the United States took the first step in the planned expanded fight against Islamic State militants Monday, going to the aid of Iraqi security forces south of Baghdad who were being attacked by enemy fighters.

The officials said Iraqi forces requested assistance when they came under fire from militants. Officials said the strike represents the newly broadened mission authorized by President Barack Obama to go on the offensive against the Islamic State group wherever it is.

Previous U.S. airstrikes in Iraq were conducted to protect U.S. interests and personnel, assist Iraqi refugees and secure critical infrastructure. Monday’s strike was in direct support of Iraqi forces fighting the militants.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the mission publicly by name.

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