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 'not asked by US to join strikes on Islamic State'

Britain has not been requested to join strikes against the Islamic State, Downing Street has insisted.

The wreckage of a car belonging to Islamic State militants in northern Iraq. Credit: Reuters

The Times reported that the Pentagon had been exploring whether western allies such as Britain and Australia, and allied Gulf states, would assist in a broader campaign in Syria against the radical group.

The United States has launched scores of bombing attacks on Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Iraq in a bid to assist Kurdish and Iraqi forces in their fightback.

But a No 10 spokeswoman said: "There's been no request for us to deliver air strikes and this is not something under discussion at the moment.

"Our focus remains on supporting the Iraq government and Kurdish forces so that they can counter the threat posed by Isil, for example with the visit of our security envoy to Iraq this week and the provision of supplies to Kurdish forces."

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