U.S. arming Kurdish forces in Iraq

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Senior U.S. officials say the Obama administration has begun directly providing weapons to Kurdish forces who have started to make gains against Islamic militants in Iraq.

The U.S. previously had insisted on only selling arms to the Iraqi government.

This comes directly after the U.S. military pounded northern Iraq with airstrikes in an attempt to stop Islamic militants.

The re-invigorated fighters are receiving help from the U.S. military, which carried out more air strikes Sunday.

The U.S. Central Command says U.S. fighter jets and unmanned drones hit Islamic targets, destroying a mortar position and armored vehicles.

The U.S. also dropped more food and water to tens of thousands of religious refugees stranded on a mountaintop in western Iraq.

President Obama says the airstrikes could go on for some time but continues to insist he has no plans to put U.S. combat troops on the ground.