Peshmerga soldiers on the Nawaran Front near Bashiqa earlier this week.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said Thursday that Bashiqa, the largest town outside Mosul with a large Yezidi population, has fallen out of ISIS control but Kurdish forces are not in a rush to enter for fear of explosives and other hazards.
“Bashiqa is now considered a fallen town,” Barzani told reporters on the Khazir front, on the 11th day of an international offensive to evict ISIS from its stronghold of Mosul.
Bashiqa is a key town that was encircled by the Peshmerga for several days.
“As for Bashiqa, It has fallen militarily because it is encircled. But there is no urgency to enter. We are not in a rush because we do not want Peshmerga or even the Iraqi forces to enter the cities and towns straightaway because of explosives and to be certain that we receive less damage,” the Kurdish president said.
Bashiqa is the largest populated town outside Mosul and has a significant Yezidi-Kurdish population. It lies about 12 kilometers east of Mosul.
Earlier Thursday, Rudaw cameras captured Peshmerga forces entering the village of Fazliyah, northwest of Bashiqa, after a days-long siege. They were welcomed by jubilant residents.