DOD Launches Humanitarian Mission for Georgia

President Bush yesterday announced that he has directed the US military to commence a “vigorous” humanitarian-relief mission for the people of the Republic of Georgia in the wake of Russia’s military incursion. As of yesterday, a C-17 transport loaded with relief supplies was on its way to the pro-Western former Soviet Republic, with additional aircraft and naval forces expected to deliver more humanitarian and medical supplies “in the days ahead,” he said. Bush called on Russia “to honor its commitment” to allow all forms of humanitarian assistance and to keep all lines of communication and transport open for this purpose as well as for civilian transit. The Pentagon announced earlier this week that it was ready to assist. On Aug. 10-11, C-17 flights shuttled back to Georgia a brigade of Georgian soldiers that was serving as part of the US-led coalition in Iraq.