A thick plume of smoke rises from an explosion inside Shingal. Rudaw photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – ISIS is calling on the people of Tal Afar and Mosul to take up arms in a “jihad” against Peshmerga forces, Kurdish military sources say.
"Through mosques in Tal Afar and Mosul, ISIS is urging people to take up arms and jihad against the Peshmerga," said Hevidar Ahmed, quoting Peshmerga officials.
The Peshmerga sources were speaking as ISIS was reportedly in retreat in Shingal, where some 7,500 Peshmerga forces launched a three-pronged attack Thursday, backed by air raids from US-led coalition forces.
Peshmerga commander, Sheikh Alo, told Rudaw TV that such a quick ISIS retreat was unexpected, because Shingal is strategically important.
"We did not expect the retreat of ISIS this way, because Shingal was the group’s main supply route from Mosul to territories they control in Syria," he said.
"The US-led coalition did their part very well, paving the way for the Peshmerga to defeat ISIS easily in Shingal," he added.
Alo said that ISIS must be fought in Mosul next.
"Fighting ISIS will not end, even after the Peshmerga liberate Shingal: we have to fight them in Mosul too," he said.
"We should obey orders from authorities not to advance into Shingal fast, because the group may have laid booby traps and bombs in streets and homes inside Shingal," he warned.