BAGHDAD (AP) — Aid has started to flow to a small Shiite town in northern Iraq -- and Iraq's outgoing prime minister has paid a visit.
The relief supplies are arriving a day after security forces, with the help of U.S. airstrikes, broke a two-month siege by Sunni militants. The aid was sent by the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Red Crescent.
The head of a local non-governmental organization says four trucks loaded with foodstuffs, medicine and fruit have entered the town. He says the situation in Amirli "is getting back to normal, but gradually."
The U.S. airstrikes hat helped liberate the town were the first to hit in areas where Iranian-backed militias fought the Sunni militants. It suggests an unlikely alliance between the U.S. and Shiite militiamen who once fought against American soldiers in Iraq.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was greeted in the town today by jubilant security forces, Shiite fighters and residents. In a meeting with fighters, he praised what he called their "steadfastness and patience" against people he described as "beasts and killers."