Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen liberated the town of Amirli on Sunday after a two-month siege by ISIS militants, officials told NBC News. The news came hours after the Defense Department announced that the U.S. military was conducting airstrikes and dropping humanitarian aid to the city at the request of the Iraqi government. "ISIS militants escaped from Amirli and the areas around," said Hakim Al-Zamily, a Sadrist member of Parliament.
U.S. forces used fighter and attack aircraft to conduct two airstrikes Sunday, one of them near Amirli and the other near the Mosul Dam, the Pentagon said. All U.S. aircraft were safe, it said. Thousands of Shiite Turkomen living in Amirli had been cut off from food and water for nearly two months by Islamic State militants. Aircraft from Australia, France, Britain and the U.S. were involved in the aid drop.
— Jim Miklszewski, Courtney Kube and NBC News' Baghdad producer
First published August 31 2014, 5:15 AM