Nation & World News

U.S. Conducts Airstrikes Near Besieged Iraqi Town

By L. Carol Ritchie on August 30th, 2014

American forces have carried out airstrikes near the Iraqi town of Amerli, which has been under siege by Islamic militants for more than two months.

U.S., British, French and Australian aircraft also made aid drops to the area, where residents have been desperately short on food and without clean water for weeks.

The operation was carried out in cooperation with the Iraqi army and air force, along with other armed forces, the Washington Post notes. The Post quotes Karim al-Nouri, a spokesman for the Shiite militia Badr Brigades, saying fighters moved late Saturday toward the nearby town of Suleiman Beg, currently occupied by the militant Islamic State.

Amerli is home to Shiite Turkmen, considered apostates by the Sunni Islamists, says NPR’s Peter Kenyon, who reports from about 120 miles to the south in Erbil. Amerli came under Islamic State attack in June, when the Islamists seized the northern city of Mosul, and has “resisted mightily, and held out against long odds,” Kenyon says.

“The town, home to a significant number of military men, has held out longer than anyone anticipated,” Kenyon reports. “Residents say farmers are slaughtering their remaining livestock to keep people alive, but the unclean water brought up from wells is a critical health hazard.”

News of the offensive and the airdrops has boosted morale among Amerli’s residents, according to Abigail Hauslohner of The Post.

“Amerli residents and local officials said Friday and Saturday that reports of the offensive, as well as U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State militants and aid drops to residents, have boosted morale in the Shiite town, which has accused Washington and Baghdad of failing to stop the siege,” Hauslohner writes.

The operation has the double objective of breaking the Islamic State siege and reopening the main highway north from Baghdad, according to the BBC.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Secretary-general of the League of Arab States Nabil Elaraby (left) and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri attend a news conference after the closing session of the Arab League Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Sunday. The 22-nation body agreed in principle to establishing a regional security force.

Arab League Approves Idea Of Ground Forces For Regional Security

The 22-member body agreed in principle to the military force that could be rapidly deployed to regional trouble spots.


Nigerian electoral officials collate results at a polling station in the oil rich Niger Delta, Port Harcourt, Nigeria on Sunday. Millions of voters headed to the polls in the Nigerian general elections after being delayed for over a month.

Dozens Killed In Nigerian Election Violence As Polling Continues

Boko Haram extremists are being blamed for more than 40 deaths, including one lawmaker, as balloting continues in a closely-fought presidential elections.


At Palm Sunday Mass, Pope Remembers Germanwings Crash Victims

Francis noted that schoolchildren were aboard the aircraft thought to have been deliberately crashed by its co-pilot. The pontiff also paid tribute to “martyrs” killed for their faith.


Some of the hundreds of people who gathered outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, for a rally against legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence.

Indiana Governor: Lawmakers To ‘Clarify’ Anti-Gay Law

Mike Pence, who signed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act last week, says he didn’t anticipate the level of hostility the law has engendered.


Kentucky Is Now Just Two Games Away From Perfect Season

It was down to two final free throws, but the Wildcats finally overcame Notre Dame’s upset bid in a 68-66 win. They’ll go on to face the Wisconsin Badgers in a rematch from last year’s Final Four.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments