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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James Foley killer 'a British jihadist named John'

The Islamic State militant shown beheading US journalist James Foley is believed to be from Britain and nicknamed 'John', according to various newspaper reports.

James Foley was kidnapped in Syria in 2012. Credit: Facebook/Nicole Tung

The man is thought to be a senior figure in the jihadist group and is a prime target for MI5, MI6 and the SAS, according to the Times.

The paper claims he is linked to a group of British-Pakistani hostage specialists jokingly known as the Beatles - prompting the nickname from a former captive.

The Telegraph reports that US and UK intelligence services are now urgently investigating the claims about the "well-educated" and "intelligent" killer - who is thought to be based in IS-stronghold Raqqa, Syria.

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