IraqMiddle East

Major offensive underway against ISIL in north Iraq


Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, backed by government forces, have launched a large-scale operation against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh.

According to the Kurdish Regional Security Council, Peshmerga fighters initiated the major offensive against ISIL in southeast and southwest of Mosul dam early Wednesday.

The operation is mainly aimed at stopping ISIL terrorists from transferring forces and weaponry from their stronghold in Syria into the Iraqi territory.

Iraqi News reported that the offensive led to the liberation of four villages north of Mosul in the early hours.

Video footage released by Kurdish officials showed heavy artillery as well as air raids being carried out in the operation. Hundreds of Kurdish fighters have been deployed in the operation that may also weaken ISIL’s position in Tal Afar.

However, Kurdish commanders declared that they will not advance into the city as the diverse population in Tal Afar may see the move as an invasion by Kurds.

Iraqi security forces, backed by volunteers and Peshmerga fighters have gained considerable progress in pushing back ISIL terrorists in various parts of the country. International coalition’s fighter jets have also backed the offensives, although many are skeptical about the usefulness of the costly US-led air strikes.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Wednesday that he continues to hear many countries pledging to provide military support against ISIL, but what has been offered on the ground is close to nothing.

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