Kurds 'take control' of large area from IS

Kurds ‘take control’ of large area from IS


Kurdish authorities say their Peshmerga forces have taken control of a “large area” of the Iraqi town of Sinjar from Islamic State militants.Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani claimed large Peshmerga advances during a visit to nearby Mount Sinjar.The town, near the Syrian border has been controlled by Islamic State (IS) militants since August.Kurdish Peshmerga fighters backed by US-led air strikes launched a counter-offensive in the area last week.IS controls a swathe of Iraq and Syria, where it has declared a caliphate.
The US said it launched 13 air strikes in Iraq on Sunday, four of which were on IS targets near Sinjar.The US, Iraq and other Western and Arab countries have formed a coalition against the militant group and began air strikes in August. ‘Siege broken’Massoud Barzani praised the progress Peshmerga troops had made when he visited Mount Sinjar on Sunday.”Thanks to God we have opened and controlled all the roads and broken the siege imposed on Sinjar Mountain” he said.”The liberation of the centre of Sinjar town was not part of our plans, but we have managed to take control of a large area of it,” he added.Kurdish authorities first announced on Friday that they had broken the IS siege of Mount Sinjar, where thousands of Yazidis and other displaced Iraqis have been trapped since August.The Kurdish counter-operation began early on Wednesday with the most intensive round of air strikes yet by US and coalition forces – 45 in all.On the ground, about 8,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters launched a two-pronged attack which they said had succeeded in opening a wide corridor to allow members of the Yazidi minority and others to leave. -BBC


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