Date
15 December 2017
Iraqi security forces and Shi'ite volunteers react after breaking a siege of Amerli town by Islamic State militants on Sunday. Photo: Reuters
Iraqi security forces and Shi'ite volunteers react after breaking a siege of Amerli town by Islamic State militants on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

Iraqi troops break Islamic State siege of Amerli

Iraqi troops, aided by US airstrikes, on Sunday broke a months-long blockade of Shiite Turkmen town Amerli by Islamic State militants, the Washington Post reported.

“Amerli has been liberated,” Mahdi Taqi, a local politician and resident who was in the Iraqi town during the siege, was quoted as saying. “There is so much joy, and people are cheering in the streets.”

Jihadists had surrounded the town in June, preventing food and other aid from reaching the population.

Residents had armed themselves to fend off the militants, but critical supplies began to run low and there were fears that the militants could launch a massacre.

US airstrikes around Amerli on Saturday helped tilt the balance in favor of Iraqi forces. The Pentagon said the air raids would be “limited in their scope and duration”.

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RC

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