WASHINGTON- US President Barack Obama said on Thursday that the Islamist militant siege of Iraq's Mount Sinjar had been broken and he did not expect to have to mount an evacuation or continue humanitarian airdrops.

"We helped vulnerable people reach safety and we helped save many innocent lives," Obama said at a press briefing. "Because of these efforts we do not expect there to be an additional operation to evacuate people off the mountain and it's unlikely we are going to need to continue humanitarian airdrops on the mountain."

Obama said the United States would continue airstrikes to protect US facilities in Iraq and called on Iraqis to unite to defeat Islamist insurgents.

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