Besieged Iraqi town buoyed by airstrikes, launch of offensive against militants

By Abigail Hauslohner, August 31, 2014

BAGHDAD — The long-suffering residents of Amerli, an impoverished town in northern Iraq that has been besieged by Sunni jihadists for two months, were relieved Saturday that help had finally arrived.

Militia leaders and government officials said a coordinated offensive to clear the Islamic State-controlled towns around Amerli — and eventually the siege’s front line — began after nightfall in Iraq on Saturday.

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