BEIJING, Sept. 1 (Xinhuanet) -- A combination of forces has liberated the Shiite town of Amerli in northern Iraq. The operation began at dawn on Sunday, following US air strikes.
The Sunni extremist group had the town of Amerli surrounded since June. It has a population of about 20-thousand, mostly Shiite Turkmen farmers, who had suffered for weeks with little food, water or medical care.
On Sunday, the Iraqi Army, along with Shia militia groups and Kurdish peshmerga fighters moved in at dawn... and fighting continued in surrounding villages into the afternoon. The people of Amirli had held off the Islamic State’s initial invasion more than six weeks ago. But United Nations had warned it was a humanitarian crisis in the making much like the siege of minority Yazidis at Mount Sinjar in early August.
Sunday’s operation began with U-S airstrikes the night before, along with airdrops of food and water. The U-S military has now conducted a total of 118 airstrikes across Iraq.
But President Barack Obama is getting alot of criticism here in the U-S for saying last week that he doesn’t yet have a strategy for airstrikes in Syria.
He is now feeling pressure, to act more decisively, even from members of his own Democratic Party, like Senator Dianne Feinstien, chair of the Intelligence Committee.
"I’ve learned one thing about this president, and that is he is very cautious. Maybe in this instance, too cautious. I do know that the military, I know that the State Department, I know that others have been putting plans together, and so hopefully those plans will coalesce into a strategy that will encourage that coalition from Arab nations, you know, Jordan’s at jeopardy, Lebanon’s at jeopardy," said Senator Feinstein.
A number of U-S lawmakers are pushing for immediate strikes inside Syria. But that’s a complicated proposition. It would put Americans on the same side as President Bashar Al-Assad when the U-S has been pushing for an end to his regime.