(Friends of Ahlulbayt:): Ayatullah Ali Sistani, Shi’a Muslims world’s most influential scholar, said through his representative, Abd al-Mehdi al-Karbalai, “We appeal to the relevant sides to work sincerely in breaking the siege. [We also call for] saving the brave town’s citizens from the dangers of the terrorists.” Ayatullah Sistani added, “The speeding up of the air delivery of food to the people of Amerli is a top priority at this time.” The Shi’a Muslim Turkmen town of Amerli has been besieged by ISIS for over 70 days. The people of the town complain that their struggle is hardly reported in the media. The Iraqi Government, in turn, did not seek to deal with the situation quickly.
Government aid, too little
A month ago, the Iraqi Government started to air deliver one plane of food and weapons to Amerli. The empty planes air lift the most needy out of Amerli. However, this is nowhere near enough to meet the demands of 30,000 trapped residents. Also, the Iraqi army has yet to launch a major offensive to break the siege. The trapped Turkmen hope that with the publicity, and moral authority, that Ayatullah Sistani has offered them, their struggles will end.
Since ISIS took control of the surrounding area, they have blocked food and aid going into the town. They have also stopped the water and electricity supply. ISIS launches attacks almost on a daily to break the siege. They have enjoyed little success. There are 5,000 local Turkmen fighters defending the city. They are part of the Iraqi army and police, and came to defend their hometown when ISIS threatended to attack. To read more about the suffering of the Turkmen in Amerli,