WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke via telephone on Saturday with British Secretary of State for Defense Michael Fallon about their two countries' efforts to relieve the humanitarian crisis in northern Iraq.
Hagel thanked Fallon for the British military contributions to humanitarian relief operations during the call made on his way to Sydney, Australia, U.S. Defense Department Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement.
Hagel pledged to stay in contact with U.S. allies during this crisis, Kirby said, adding that both leaders agreed to keep each other informed about developments and to look for additional ways to coordinate military operations.
U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday evening that he has authorized targeted airstrikes against Iraqi Islamic militants and airdrops of aid for besieged Iraqis.
Since Obama gave the green light, U.S. warplanes have so far carried out three rounds of strikes near the northern Iraqi city of Erbil.
Meanwhile, the British defense ministry has said its forces are to drop food aid for members of the Yazidi community and others under threat from Islamic militants in Iraq.