RELIGION

US sending besieged Iraqi religious minorities humanitarian aid, weighing airstrikes

  • Protesters ask for help for Yazidi people who are stranded by violence in northern Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, across from the White House in Washington. The Obama administration is weighing an urgent response to help trapped religious minorities in Iraq, with one option being delivery of humanitarian aid. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

    Protesters ask for help for Yazidi people who are stranded by violence in northern Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, across from the White House in Washington. The Obama administration is weighing an urgent response to help trapped religious minorities in Iraq, with one option being delivery of humanitarian aid. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters ask for help for Yazidi people who are stranded by violence in northern Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, across from the White House in Washington. The Obama administration is weighing an urgent response to help trapped religious minorities in Iraq, with one option being delivery of humanitarian aid. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

    Protesters ask for help for Yazidi people who are stranded by violence in northern Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, across from the White House in Washington. The Obama administration is weighing an urgent response to help trapped religious minorities in Iraq, with one option being delivery of humanitarian aid. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. officials say President Barack Obama has approved sending humanitarian supplies by air to thousands of religious minorities in Iraq who are under siege from Islamic militants.

But the officials say Obama has not made a final decision on whether the relief mission will be accompanied by U.S. airstrikes. Obama could announce his decisions as early as Thursday night.

The officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss matter by name ahead of the president.