Iraq Claims Amerli is Liberated from ISIL Militants
WASHINGTON – INTERNATIONAL – At the request of the Government of Iraq, the U.S. military conducted airstrikes in support of an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance to address the humanitarian crisis and protect the civilians trapped in Amirli, Iraq, at approximately 8:30AM EDT yesterday.
The airstrikes in support of Iraqi troops appear to be helping as Iraqi military forces entered the town of Amerli Sunday, the town had been under siege from a blockade by Islamic State forces including ISIL.
Islamic State militants had surrounded the Shiite Turkmen village and there were concerns raised that it could have led to an impending massacre.
“There is so much joy and people are cheering in the streets. Amerli has been liberated,” according to Mahdi Taqi, who is a local politician and a resident of Amerli who stayed in the village during the siege.
Islamic Forces had surrounded the town in June, preventing food and other aid from reaching the population there.
The U.S. airstrikes around Amerli made in support of Iraqi troops were what Pentagon sources said, “Limited in their scope and duration,” shifted the balance in the fighting over to the Iraqi Government Forces.
United States Military Central Command states, “Two months ago, hundreds of ISIL terrorists advanced on Amirli cutting off food, water, and medical supplies to thousands of Shia Turkomen living there. ISIL has since blocked many attempts by Iraqi Security Forces and the United Nations from delivering critical supplies to Amirli, threatening the remaining population”.
The United States says, “At the request of the Iraqi government, U.S. forces airdropped 109 bundles of much-needed humanitarian aid to the people of Amirli, including the Shia Turkomen minority ethnic group. Two U.S. C-17s and two U.S. C-130s airdropped the supplies, delivering approximately 10,500 gallons of fresh drinking water and approximately 7,000 meals ready to eat. In addition, aircraft from Australia, France, and the United Kingdom also dropped humanitarian aid”.
U.S. Defense Briefing Friday
To support the delivery of this humanitarian assistance, the U.S. military also conducted three airstrikes in coordination with the isolated Iraqi security forces responsible for protecting Amirli.
Fighter aircraft struck and destroyed three ISIL Humvees, one ISIL armed vehicle, one ISIL checkpoint and one ISIL tank near Amirli. All aircraft safely exited the area.
The President authorized these airstrikes in support of an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians in the town of Amirli. These operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to address this emerging humanitarian crisis and protect the civilians trapped in Amirli.
U.S Central Command has conducted a total of 118 airstrikes across Iraq.
FILES: U.S DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE /