The U.S. military says it has launched airstrikes in western Iraq near Haditha Dam, which is under threat from Islamic State militants.
U.S. officials said Sunday Iraq remains in control of the dam, but the offensive was initiated to beat back insurgents who are trying to seize control of the dam.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking in Georgia Sunday, said securing the Haditha Dam was crucial.
Hagel said: "If that dam would fall into ISL's hand, or if that dam would be destroyed, the damage that that would cause would be very significant. And it would put a significant and big risk into the mix in Iraq."
The U.S. military has also launched airstrikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq, targeting fighters and military hardware near the town of Irbil.
The U.S. Central Command has described the attacks as "a mix of attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft," saying the flights occurred Friday and Saturday.
In nearby Syria, monitors say Syrian government airstrikes targeting the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa killed at least 25 people, including 16 civilians.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the civilians died in the bombing of a bakery operated by the extremist group. Other strikes hit an Islamic State training camp and a government finance building used as an Islamic court.
The northeastern city of Raqqa is the group's main foothold in Syria.