Iraqi town celebrates end of ISIS siege

September 4, 2014 | By | Reply More

Sep 04, – Residents of the small Iraqi town of Amerli took to the streets in celebration today after local security forces backed by U.S. airstrikes broke a two-month siege by ISIS militants.

IRAQ-CONFLICT-AMERLIAbout 150,000 Shiite Turkmen have been stranded in the town with dwindling water and supplies since June – but this morning aid finally begun flowing to the area and life slowly returned to normal.

The siege was lifted after the U.S. air force carried out limited strikes in the area for the first time, and ground forces backed by Iran-allied Shiite militias forced the jihadists to withdraw.

The news comes as ISIS faces growing resistance in Iraq – with Kurdish peshmerga troops also forcing militants to abandon a number of areas around the city of Tikrit this morning.

Iraq’s outgoing prime minister Nouri al-Maliki travelled to Amerli this morning, praising its residents for fending off attacks by ISIS militants.

Jubilant security forces, Shiite fighters and residents of Amirli greeted al-Maliki with hugs and Shiite slogans when he arrived in the town.

In footage aired on state TV, al-Maliki was shown sitting at a wooden desk in front of a large poster of Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistsani, ordering promotions and awards for forces who took part in ending the siege.

‘I salute you for your steadfastness and patience against those beasts and killers,’ he told a gathering of fighters in the large hall, as they chanted Shiite religious slogans.

Ali al-Bayati, who heads the local Turkmen Saving Foundation, said four trucks loaded with food, medicine and fruit entered the town of Amirli this morning after militants fled the area.

The aid was sent by the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Red Crescent, he said, adding that soldiers first started bringing food to families in their houses last night.

‘The situation is getting back to normal, but gradually,’ al-Bayati said.

‘Some people have come out from their houses and walk in the street. Shops are still closed, but people are happy to see their city secured by Iraqi security forces,’ he added.

Press journalist for HRO media – Khizer Hayat reports.

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Category: Arab uprising

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