Erbil – Kurdish Peshmerga have reportedly driven the Islamic State (ISIS) from more than 500 km², including 28 villages since the Mosul operation began. In the same two-week period, Iraqi Kurdistan has received more than 7,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).
“Since the start of the military operation on October 17, Peshmerga fighters have cleared more than 500 square kilometers from ISIS, including at least 28 villages northeast of Mosul,” the Peshmerga General Command said, in a statement on Sunday. “[This] is part of the ongoing campaign to clear ISIS terrorists from Nineveh Governorate.”
“As of [mid-afternoon] on October 30, Peshmerga Forces have cleared six villages northeast of Mosul: Faziliya, Kevrok, Khrab Bet, Kani Shirin, Khadheir and Qebr Esaaq. They have also secured the Mar Oraha Monastery, close to the town of Batnaya,” the Peshmerga added.
Kurdish Peshmerga have also extended their control over several lines of communication into Mosul. “This includes major roads from Bashiqa, Batnaya, Filfel and Nawaran in an effort to tighten the grip on ISIS’ last major stronghold and significantly limit their ability to reinforce,” the General Command said.
Since the Mosul operation began, the Kurdish Peshmerga have reportedly killed dozens of ISIS militants, destroyed over 50 VBIEDs, and dismantled at least 800 IEDs. The explosives were laid by ISIS across frontline positions and major roads.
While Kurdish offensives have been effective they have also been costly. The deaths of Rasol Mehamadzadeh and Said Curukkaya are illustritave. Rasol came from the Iranian Kurdish Region and Sait Curukkaya was from the Kurdish heartland in southeast Turkey. Both men had been working alongside the Peshmerga’s counter-IED teams.
Lieutenant General Jabbar Yawar, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, told ARA News that after liberating Bashiqa District from ISIS, Kurdish forces will not push on to Mosul city.
“According to the agreement with Baghdad, the Peshmerga will create a [defensive] line, while the Iraqi Army will advance further. We will not go to the centre of Mosul,” Yawar said, in an exclusive interview with ARA News. “Only the Iraqi Army, federal police and local police will ever enter the city.”
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News
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