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

Seattle Cuts Public Transportation Fares For Low-Income Commuters

Low-income riders can now qualify for a program that will slash their fares by more than half of peak rates. But the cost will be offset by fare increases for everybody else.


Task Force Calls For Independent Probes Of Police-Involved Shootings

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing also emphasized the need for better training and equipment, including bulletproof vests. But it stopped short of insisting police wear body cameras.


A photo from by the Taronga Zoo shows a six-month-old Quokka, a marsupial that has made it a hit on social media.

Cuteness Break: The Genial Quokka Steals Scenes And Hearts

In many photos from an Australian island, the marsupial appears front and center, adding its enigmatic smile to images of happy tourists.


A 33-foot-long tunnel found in Toronto, Ontario, is pictured in this handout photo provided by Toronto Police.

Riddle Of Mysterious Tunnel Solved, Toronto Police Say

Two men claimed they dug the tunnel for “personal reasons,” police say. The case has since been closed.


Artist Nelson Shanks' 2005 portrait of former President Clinton, which hangs at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery.

Clinton’s Portrait Has Hint Of Lewinsky’s Blue Dress, Artist Says

Nelson Shanks tells the Philadelphia Daily News a shadow on the left side of the painting represents not only the infamous dress, but also “a shadow on the office he held, or on” President Clinton.


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments