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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US 'never intended to disclose' Syria operation

The White House intended to keep its attempted rescue mission in Syria of hostages held captive by the Islamic State secret, one spokesman has said.

According to the Associated Press, only when details of the operation were leaked by administration officials, the White House decided to comment.

We never intended to disclose this operation. An overriding concern for the safety of the hostages and for operational security made it imperative that we preserve as much secrecy as possible.

We only went public today when it was clear a number of media outlets were preparing to report on the operation and that we would have no choice but to acknowledge it.

– Caitlin Hayden, National Security Council spokeswoman

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