UN chief welcomes lifting of Iraqi town siege

UN chief welcomes lifting of Iraqi town siege

United Nations, Sep 3 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday welcomed the end of militant siege on the northern Iraqi town of Amerli, saying it averted “a major humanitarian disaster”.

Ban welcomed the lifting of the siege on Amerli through the action of the Iraqi security forces, the Kurdish Peshmerga and others with air support from the United States, Xinhua quoted a statement issued by his spokesperson as saying Tuesday.

“This has averted a major humanitarian as well as human rights disaster,” the statement said.

The UN chief expressed his appreciation to those who participated in lifting the siege, as well as to those countries providing assistance to the affected population through airdrops.

Ban also welcomed the action of the UN Humanitarian Country Team who, in coordination with the local and national authorities, succeeded in distributing the first of a planned series of life-saving supply convoys to the children and families of Amerli.

Iraqi security forces Sunday made a breakthrough to Amerli, which had been besieged by Islamic State (IS) militants for more than two months.

The siege left local residents stranded without food or water supplies.

The security forces, backed by thousands of Shiite militiamen and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, moved in the town of Amerli under US and Iraqi air support, and fought fierce clashes with the militants.

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