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Amirli (Arabic: آمرلي‎; Amirli, Turkish: Emirli) also spelt Amerli is a town in the Tooz District of Saladin Governorate, near the border with Diyala Governorate, in northern Iraq, about 100 km from the Iranian border. It has a population of 42,000,[1] mainly from Iraq's Shia Turkoman ethnic minority. It is the centre of a farming region.[2]


آمرلي ‹See Tfd›(in Arabic)

Emirli ‹See Tfd›(in Turkish)
Amirli is located in Iraq
Coordinates: 34°43′30″N 44°35′15″E / 34.72500°N 44.58750°E / 34.72500; 44.58750Coordinates: 34°43′30″N 44°35′15″E / 34.72500°N 44.58750°E / 34.72500; 44.58750
Country Iraq
GovernorateSaladin Governorate
DistrictTooz District

Amirli, along with Altun Kupri, Tal Afar, Bashir, Bustamli, Mahalabiyah, Qarah Tabbah, Sulaiman Bek, Taza Khurmatu, Tuz Khurmatu and Yankjah, make up the largest Turkmen-majority cities in Iraq, while Mosul, Kirkuk, Kifri, Daquq, Miqdadiyah, Jalawla and Saadiyah have significant Turkmen minority populations.



The word Amirli (Arabic: امرلي‎) is an abbreviated version of the phrase "Ali my prince" (Arabic: اميري علي‎), hence the majority of its population is from the Shia sect of Islam.[3]

2007 bombingEdit

On June 7, 2007, a bombing in the marketplace of Amirli killed 165 people and injured 350.[2][4]

2014 siege by ISISEdit

The town, and its nearly 20,000 Shia Turkmen,[5] was besieged by the ISIL starting in June 2014.[6] It was running out of food, water, and supplies. A U.N. representative stated, "The situation of the people in Amerli is desperate and demands immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens."[7] On August 31, the Iraqi army, with help from the United States and Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, managed to break the siege and entered the city, much to the rejoicing of its citizens.[8][9] Iran had reportedly played a "military planning" role in breaking siege of Amirli.[10]


  1. ^ محافظة صلاح الدين - وزارة البلديات والاشغال(Saladin governorate - the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works)
  2. ^ a b Barzanji, Yahya (7 July 2007). "Suicide bomb kills over 100 in Iraq". Washington Post. The Associated Press.
  3. ^ "Iraqi forces 'reach besieged Amerli'". BBC News. BBC. 31 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Iraq market truck bomb kills 105". BBC News. BBC. 7 July 2007.
  5. ^ "Iraq minority appeals to army, international community for help". CBC news. The Associated Press. 20 August 2014.
  6. ^ al-Bayati, Ali (22 August 2014). "Amerli – the town holding out against the Islamic State and starvation". EA WorldView. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Iraq conflict: UN warns of possible Amerli 'massacre'". BBC News. BBC. 23 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Iraqi troops supported with shia armed patrols enter the sieged Amirli". BBC (in Arabic). 29 August 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  9. ^ Roggio, Bill (2 September 2014). "US airstrikes in Amerli supported deadly Shia terror group". Public Media. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  10. ^ Coles, Isabel (September 1, 2014). "Iranians play role in breaking IS siege of Iraqi town". Reuters. Retrieved October 17, 2014.