Iraq security forces, backed by the continuous US airstrikes on the Islamic State bases in Iraq, has reportedly broken a six-week siege imposed by the hardliner Sunni militant group on a northern Iraqi Shiite village.
The farming community of Amirli, located about 105 miles north of Baghdad and home to roughly 15,000 Shiite Turkmen, had been captured by the jihadist group since mid-July. The extremist group, who recently released the gruesome video of a US journalist being beheaded and sent a staunch warning to the Obama administration, has been spearheading a bloody campaign, capturing major swathe of Iraq's north and Syria in their aim to establish a Islamic caliphate in the region.
"Security forces and militia fighters are inside Amerli now after breaking the siege and that will definitely relieve the suffering of residents," Adel al-Bayati, the mayor of the small Iraqi town told Reuters.
"ISIS militants have fled as our heroes in the army and the volunteers are progressing at Amirli," Qassim Atta, the Iraqi military spokesman said on state television Sunday.
"The next step will be holding the ground tightly and liberating all the area which link Amerli to Salahuddin," Atta said adding: "Our forces will gather in thousands in Amrili to march towards Tikrit."
The development came after the United States hit the IS militants with airstrikes on Saturday in what was referred to as "support of a humanitarian mission". The US military had airdropped humanitarian supplies to the trapped residents in the town and more aid was dropped from British, French and Australian planes.
According to Pentagon, the US warplanes hit three Humvee patrol vehicles, a tank and an armed vehicle held by militants, as well as a checkpoint controlled by the group.
While the significant achievement has been attributed to the Iraqi forces, the American role has also been noted to be critical in ending the siege on the town.
"It would have been absolutely impossible without the Amreican planes," Reuters quoted a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter. "The strikes prevented the Islamic State from moving freely and targed them with 100 percent accuracy."