A Kurdish peshmerga fighter takes his position behind a wall on the front line during clashes with ISIS militants. File photo
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ERBIL – On Monday, Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Sunni militias have started an offensive to capture villages from the Islamic State (ISIS) in Naweran district in Mosul suburb of northwestern Iraq, backed by Turkish tanks and US coalition airstrikes.
According to the Peshmerga official spokesperson Jabar Yawar, the Peshmerga forces and Sunni militias took control of the villages of Nawaran and Barima.
“The Peshmerga forces’ advances are continuous so far and they have reached the intersection of Khorsiyat village, which is the ISIS main hideout and a strategic area to link Mosul, Shingal and Bashik together,” Yaqar said in a statement on Monday.
“Due to the continuity of the attacks, no casualties have been confirmed in the ISIS ranks. The ISIS militants are running away from the area and have no capacities to confront the Peshmerga forces.”
Speaking to ARA News, Ryan D O Leary, a foreign volunteer with the Peshmerga forces, said: “Basically from [Monday] noon onwards there has been a non-stop air coverage [by the US-led coalition]. The coalition launched a couple airstrikes and Turkish tanks are continuing to hit targets in the outlaying areas as well as pesh mortars.”
The Islamic State group hit back by Katyusha rockets and 3-5 mortars on Monday afternoon.
“Daesh (ISIS) then preferred to try to use fires for smoke screens here at the Bashiq area. So far, Peshmerga and Sunni militias attacked two villages. Near us, ISIS launched artillery attacks and started fires in villages to mask movements, but it isn’t helping them,” Leary added.
Source: ARA News