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U.S. air power aids retaking of Iraqi town

American jets clear a path for militias to break siege

Posted: September 1, 2014 at 3:25 a.m.

Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen chant anti-terrorism slogans after breaking the siege on 15,000 Shiite Turkmens stranded in the farming community town of Amirli, following U.S. airstrikes against Sunni Islamic State group positions, 105 miles (170 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. The Islamic State extremist group has seized cities, towns and vast tracts of land in northeastern Syria and northern and western Iraq. It views Shiites as apostates and has carried out a number of massacres and beheadings often posting grisly videos and photos of the atrocities online. (AP Photo)

BAGHDAD -- A coalition of Shiite militias, regular Iraqi army units and Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. air power, on Sunday broke a long siege of Amirli, a town in northern Iraq that for weeks had been surrounded by Sunni extremists who threatened to slaughter thousands of Shiite residents.

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