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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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Britain 'must build bridges with Assad to tackle IS'

Britain must build bridges with Syrian President Bashar Assad to tackle the threat from Islamic State (IS) extremists, the former head of the Army has said.

Lord Dannatt is the former head of the British Army. Credit: PA

Lord Dannatt suggested the West needed to recognise that it had misread the situation in Syria, where it has called for Assad to give up power, and seek the regime's assistance in combating the group.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, the peer said IS had to be "opposed, confronted and defeated" in both Iraq and Syria.

"The Syrian dimension has got to be addressed. You cannot deal with half a problem," he said.

"The old saying my 'enemy's enemy is my friend' has begun to have some resonance with our relationship with Iran.

"I think it's going to have to have some resonance with our relationship with Assad."

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