(Arlington, VA) -- The Pentagon says thousands of refugees remain on Mt. Sinjar and the military's humanitarian mission will continue as needed. Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said the needs of the refugees, many of which are Yazidis, continue to be assessed. There had been about 30-thousand refugees on Mt. Sinjar, but Kirby said that number is now about four to five thousand and some of them may not want to leave because they live there. He defended sending U.S. troops to the area as "the risk of genocide was real" adding women and children were being chased and slaughtered and fired upon by ISIS militants.
Kirby said the U.S. has conducted 25 airstrikes on ISIS militants, with half of the strikes designed at protecting Americans at U.S. facilities around . The other half protected the refugees on Mt. Sinjar.