US planes strike militants, drop humanitarian aid near Iraq’s Amerli

US planes strike militants, drop humanitarian aid near Iraq’s Amerli

8-30-14

planesBAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States carried out air strikes on Saturday against Islamic State fighters near the besieged Shi’ite town of Amerli in northern Iraq and airdropped humanitarian aid to civilians trapped there, the Pentagon said.

US President Barack Obama authorised the new military action, broadening US operations in Iraq amid an international outcry over the threat to Amerli’s mostly ethnic Turkmen population.

Aid was delivered by US aircraft as well as planes from Britain, France and Australia, signaling headway in Mr Obama’s efforts to draw allies into the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Iraqi army and Kurdish forces closed in on ISIS fighters on Saturday in a push to break the Sunni militants’siege of Amerli, which has been surrounded by the militants for more than two months.

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