Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Peshmerga Forces Prepare for Mosul Battle, Liberate 11 Villages | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces sit with a weapon during an intensive security deployment. Reuters

Erbil, Baghdad- Military operations north, east and south Mosul are accelerating to crack down ISIS in preparation for launching a conclusive operation to liberate the city.

Peshmerga forces have become only 15 Km away from Mosul city from the east after the progress they had made on Sunday when they launched a fresh attack on ISIS as part of a campaign to capture Mosul.

A Peshmerga commander said a dozen villages had been taken from the ultra-hardline Sunni militants as Kurdish forces headed toward Gwer, the target of the operation, 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Mosul.

The Kurdish forces were able to retake 11 strategic villages in total, most of them Kurdish with a few Arab villages among them.

During their advance on the Khazir front the Peshmerga destroyed two ISIS car bombs with the German-supplied Milan missiles.

Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, who is commander in chief of the Peshmerga, was supervising the operation.

For his part, General Sayed Hazar told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the forces have liberated most of the areas according to the plan and that the areas have fallen under Peshmerga’s control; adding that those areas facilitate access of Iraqi army to Mosul.

Moreover, ISIS attacked Peshmerga forces with 21 bombarded cars ridden by suicide bombers, yet Peshmerga forces and International coalition air strikes destroyed these vehicles before reaching their target.

Villages liberated by Peshmerga forces are considered militarily strategic since ISIS militants used to benefit from the green areas to launch their attacks.

On the other hand, security forces controlled Qayyarah sub-district, which is part of Mosul District in southern Nineveh Governorate.

A statement issued by joint leadership in Defense Ministry said that the joint security forces liberated two villages situated to the south of province. The liberation became possible after the forces entered Qayyarah from the western side of the province.

Combined troops of Anti-Terrorism Directorate and the Army’s 5th Brigade at noon on Sunday liberated Qayyarah Gas Station and al-Hawija and al-Hawasem villages.

The troops entered Qayyarah from the old bridge side and they were covered by international coalition aviation’s jets.