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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Iraq: Kurdish fighters' leader announces liberation of Sinjar from ISIS forces

Kurdish fighters on the outskirts of Sinjar
(Image: Iraqi News)
Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani announced on Saturday, 14 November, that the city of Sinjar was liberated from the ISIS forces.

Military operation was led by the Kurdish peshmerga forces with the assistance of US-led coalition airstrikes and also involved fighters from the Yazidi minority, who were systematically persecuted by the ISIS militants in this region.

The offensive also resulted in restoring control over several villages in the neighborhood of Sinjar and cutting off the so called Highway 47, the main supply road for ISIS, connecting their two strongholds, Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.

In addition to that Syrian Democratic Forces coalition declared they've liberated the town of Al-Hol which is located at the border and also was an important strategic and logistic location for ISIS.

US military experts and officials stated earlier that the operation to liberate Sinjare could take up to two-four days, while the total clearing of the area from the ISIS forces could take a week.

It's worth mentioning also that Massud Barzani, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, told during the press conference after the battle for the city of Sinjar that it was liberated with the blood of Kurds and that this city should become a part of Kurdistan. Official Iraq that traditionally opposed the idea of incorporating some of its northern territories into Kurdistan may not welcome this idea.

Later that day many peshmerga fighters entered the city of Sinjar on feet and marched through its streets, witnessing many destroyed houses including the government headquarters, shops and petrol stations, according to the AFP correspondent at the scene.

US air forces have carried out nearly 250 aerial strikes against ISIS targets during the battle for Sinjar. Seizing of Sinjar and cutting the important route for resupplies of ISIS could be a crucial moment in fight against the group in the region.