Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Peshmerga Forces Liberate Bashiqa after Fierce Battles | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi soldiers gather to go battle against ISIS militants south of Mosul , Iraq, June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

Bashiqa- Seven in the morning, Peshmerga Forces launched an offensive from three directions towards Bashiqa– Peshmerga bombardment coincided with airstrikes by the U.S.-led international coalition on ISIS headquarters.

The group faced Peshmerga forces with bomb-laced cars and explosives but the Peshmerga forces fought back fiercely in Bashiqa streets and towns.

Aziz Waisi, commander of the Zeravani Special Forces, told Asharq al-Awsat that the operation achieved its target and the forces are now in Bashiqa. “As our forces advanced we achieved satisfying results and killed and captivated a great number of ISIS fightrers, although they dug tunnels to hide in them,” said Waisi.

“The operation of liberating Bashiqa achieved its goals 100%,” added Waisi.

According to Peshmerga forces, ISIS fighters showed resistance but could not last long before many of them were killed while the others escaped through tunnels to Mosul. The estimated number of ISIS fighters in Bashiqa was 65, revealed a fighter in Peshmerga forces. The majority of them were Chechens while the rest were Iraqis.

According to Peshmerga leaders, up to 40 suicide attackers and 40 bomb-laced cars faced the forces to prevent them from moving forward but actually failed to fulfill that.

Bashiqa is known for its strategic position that is close to Mosul, only 15 kilometers away. Seizing Bashiqa makes Mosul liberation an easier mission.