Iraqi forces reach jihadist-besieged town of Amerli

Iraqi forces have broken through the Islamic State-besieged town of Amerli where thousands of people were trapped for over two months, according to news agency AFP.

Security spokesman Lieutenant General Qassem Atta told AFP: "Our forces entered Amerli and broke the siege".

RAF transport planes took part in a humanitarian air drop to the town last night, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said.

US aircraft also launched airstrikes against IS fighters near the besieged town.

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Journalist James Foley's family: 'We are so proud'

The family of a journalist who was beheaded by Islamic State militants in Syria have spoken of their pride in their son.

John and Diane Foley speaking outside their New Hampshire home. Credit: AP

At a tearful press conference James Foley's father John said: "You know Jimmy's free and we know he's in God's hands and we know he's in heaven, so we're so proud of him."

He added that his son had viewed front line journalism as his job and had not been put off by a previous 41-day capture in Libya.

John said: "He said to me: 'Dad, why do firemen keep going back into blazing homes?' He felt this was his job. This was his passion."

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