Iraqi security forces and Iraqi Shiite volunteers react after breaking a siege by the Islamic State extremist group on Amerli August 31, 2014. REUTERS/ Stringer
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Iraqi security forces backed by Shiite militias Sunday broke the two-month siege of Amirli by ISIS militants and entered the northern town, officials said.The mayor of Amirli and army officers said troops backed by militias defeated fighters from ISIS to the east of the town, as fighting continued in several villages to the north. While Kurdish fighters backed by U.S. airstrikes had beaten back ISIS in recent weeks, the collection of Shiite security forces and militias had yet to score a significant military win.One Kurdish fighter in a base north of Amirli described the American role as critical in ending the siege.Armed residents had managed to fend off attacks by ISIS fighters, who encircled the town and regarded its majority Shiite Turkmen population as apostates.
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