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Friday, November 13, 2015

Iraq: Kurdish forces advance in battles to retake the city of Sinjar, one of the strongholds of ISIS

US-led airstrikes during the Kurdish battles in the city of
(Image: Reuters)
Kurdish peshmerga forces backed by the US-led coalition air strikes advance in battles with ISIS to retake the city of Sinjar, one of the strongholds of the jihadist group.

Kurdish ground offensive against ISIS forces started early in the morning on Thursday, 12 November, and was supported by the US-led coalition airstrikes that targeted ISIS fighting positions, control and command facilities and weapon storages and killed up to 70 ISIS fighters, according to the US military source.

Kurdish forces have managed to retake the city of Sinjar and started the clearing operation within the city, cordoning it off and establishing the buffer zone in an attempt to protect the city residents from the artillery strikes.

Kurds have also cut off the supply route of ISIS, the so called Highway 47 that connects Iraqi city of Mosul with the Syrian Raqqa, both ISIS strongholds. This route was being used by the ISIS fighters for weapons supplies, logistics and redeployment of fighters as well.

Kurdish peshmerga forces along with the US-led coalition forces, Syrian government forces and local Shiite militia have cordoned the city of Sinjar what gave the forces momentum in effort to defeat ISIS in the region and to restore control over the city of Sinjar and key portions of the lands. In addition to that Kurdish fighters have also retaken three villages in the area of Sinjar, pushing the ISIS fighters to retreat.

The city of Sinjar and its neighboring areas were taken by ISIS over a year ago, when the jihadist group took the city and started massive genocide operation against local Yazidi minority, forcing tens of thousands of people to leave their houses and to flee the terrors of ISIS. Thousands of Yazidi people, mostly women, children and elderly people, appeared to be trapped on the Sinjar mountain. Coalition forces carried out a massive rescue operation, and it became a pretext for the US-led airstrikes against the ISIS forces in the region and for the beginning of the military operation against the extremist group that still controls large territories of Iraq and Syria and proclaimed the Caliphate there.

US military forces also advice the Kurdish fighters and assisted them in the military operation of retaking Sinjar, stated a US military official who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue.

US experts claim that it will probably take up to two-four days to totally retake the city of Sinjar and about a week to finalize the clearing operation and to regain full control over the city.

Meanwhile, the situation remains tense and instable in the region, as Russian military forces also interfered, bombing the opponents of Bashar Al-Asad's regime, what causes serious concerns in the Western countries and Russia decided to gain influence in the Middle Eastern region.