Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered Monday air support for Kurdish Peshmerga troops who are planning a counter-offensive against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters in northern Iraq after being routed in battles on Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

A Kurdish official was quoted by AP saying the Kurds had been overstretched in the region but were now calling in a large number of fighters to hit back against the Sunni extremist group.

Tens of thousands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority have fled their homes after militants from the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria captured their towns, a spokesman for the community said. […]