ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – In two days, Kurdish Peshmerga forces successfully liberated several villages in the east of Mosul, southern Kurdistan Region, said a Peshmerga Commander on Monday.
On June 2014, Islamic State (IS) militants took control of large swaths of territory in northern Iraq. Since then, Peshmerga forces with the support of the coalition airstrikes have reclaimed many areas from IS.
On early Sunday morning, Peshmerga launched an offensive against IS in Khazir front, west of Erbil. The successful operation liberated several villages and pushed the insurgents back to Mosul.
Kurdistan24 reporter Hoshmand Sadiq, who was on the front line, stated that according to Peshmerga commanders, Peshmerga forces freed nine villages from jihadists, including Mufti, Zahra Khatun, Suxra, Tel Aswad, Chamakor, Kullabur, Tulebend, Gezekan and Wardak.
He mentioned that IS insurgents have planted large numbers of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the area, and a Peshmerga engineering team is clearing the liberated villages, especially in Wardak.
Peshmerga forces killed several IS members and arrested three jihadists in one of the liberated villages, a Peshmerga commander told Kurdistan24.
“The operation that Peshmerga launched to liberate villages in the east of Mosul has successfully finished,” a Peshmerga commander, whose name was not mentioned, confirmed in a live broadcast on Kurdistan24 TV.
Peshmerga Commander Aziz Waisi told Kurdistan24 on Sunday that the offensive is supervised by the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani. He added that the coalition warplanes provided aerial support to Peshmerga.
A Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) report confirmed that 140 IS members were “killed by global coalition warplanes and Peshmerga forces.” The report also mentioned that 14 IS VBIEDs were destroyed, and 75 IS positions were struck by coalition warplanes.
Additionally, a Peshmerga soldier previously stated that IS militants have no ground combat, but only send suicide bombers.
The Peshmerga offensive comes at a time when Iraqi security forces have advanced toward the city of Fallujah in the west of Baghdad and prepare for the Mosul operation to liberate the city from IS.
Reporting by Hoshmand Sadiq, Masoud Mohamad and Mewan Dolamari
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany and Ava Homa