Iraqi security forces backed by Shiite militias and US airstrikes have reportedly entered the northern town of Amerli, where Islamic State (IS) militants have laid siege to the town for weeks, prompting fears of a sectarian massacre.
Foreign news agencies reported that Iraqi Army and volunteer fighters entered the town on Sunday after defeating the IS rebels, east of the city. The IS, which claims to enforce a pure version of Islam, has apparently targeted Amerli because of its large Shiite Turkmen population, seen by them as apostates.
Fighting is reportedly continuing to the north of Amerli.
Per reports, as Iraqi forces begin to push into the city, US, British, French and Australian humanitarian aid drops have been carried out alongside US airstrikes against the militants.
Amerli has held out against the Sunni extremists for two months but has been unable to break the siege.
The Islamists reportedly control more than 30 villages surrounding the town.