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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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US prepares fresh moves against Islamic State in Syria

The United States is preparing military options, including surveillance flights, to pressure Islamic State militants in Syria, officials say.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week that Islamic State would eventually need to be addressed on "both sides of what is essentially at this point a non-existent border" between Syria and Iraq.

Dempsey's spokesman confirmed today that options against Islamic State were under review and stressed the need to form "a coalition of capable regional and European partners."

"With Central Command, [Dempsey] is preparing options to address [Islamic State] both in Iraq and Syria with a variety of military tools including airstrikes," Colonel Ed Thomas said.

No decision had been made to expand US action beyond the limited airstrikes under way in Iraq, it was added.

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