Reuters today:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi security forces backed by Shi'ite militias on Sunday broke the two-month siege of Amerli by Islamic State militants and entered the northern town, officials said.

The mayor of Amerli and army officers said troops backed by militias defeated fighters from the Islamic State (IS) to the east of the town. Fighting continued to the north of Amerli in several villages.

"Security forces and militia fighters are inside Amerli now after breaking the siege and that will definitely relieve the suffering of residents," said Adel al-Bayati, mayor of Amerli....

The advance of the Iraqi forces in Amerli comes after the U.S. military carried out air strikes overnight on IS militant positions near the town and airdropped humanitarian supplies to the trapped residents there. More aid was dropped from British, French and Australian planes....


One Kurdish fighter on a base north of Amerli described the American role as critical in ending the siege.

"It would have been absolutely impossible without the American planes," the Kurdish peshmerga fighter said. "The strikes prevented the Islamic State from moving freely and targeted them with 100 percent accuracy."

Residents of Amerli expressed relief.

"I can see the tanks of the Iraqi army patrolling Amerli's streets now. I'm very happy we got rid of the Islamic State terrorists who were threatening to slaughter us," said Amir Ismael, an Amerli resident, by phone.