US air drops food to Iraq civilians

Washington - US military planes dropped containers with water and tens of thousands of meals to civilians fleeing jihadist violence in Iraq, the Pentagon said late on Friday.

Three cargo planes escorted by two F/A-18 combat jets dropped the supplies, which were intended "for thousands of Iraqi citizens threatened by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Mount Sinjar, Iraq," the Pentagon said.

The cargo planes - a C-17 and two C-130s - together dropped a total of 72 bundles of supplies, which included 28 224 individually packaged meals and 16 bundles containing 5 761 litres of fresh drinking water.

The combat jets were from the USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier, the statement read.

"To date, in co-ordination with the government of Iraq, US military aircraft have delivered 36 224 meals and 25 824litres of fresh drinking water, providing much-needed aid to Iraqis who urgently require emergency assistance," the Pentagon said.