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Rudaw

Iraq

Peshmerga enter strategic town northeast of Mosul

By Rudaw 25/10/2014
Peshmerga forces have captured eight villages surrounding Zumar and are fighting for control of the town itself.
Peshmerga forces have captured eight villages surrounding Zumar and are fighting for control of the town itself.
ZUMAR/ERBIL - Peshmerga control most of Zumar, a strategic town on a highway connecting Islamic State (ISIS) territory in Syria to their largest city, Mosul, Peshmerga sources told Rudaw.  

They said the Kurdish soldiers had taken 13 villages surrounding Zumar and entered the town, where they are locked in battle with Islamic State fighters.  These include Jaziri, Sinana Jadid, Boti, Grikafir, Girber, Kani Shirin, and Girbakir were all under full Peshmerga control, the sources said.

Hemin Hawrami, head of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) foreign relations, wrote on Twitter that around 80 ISIS fighters were killed in the offensive as of 12pm. 

US-led coalition airplanes bombed several targets last night to pave the way for the Peshmerga advance, which began early this morning.  Planes could be heard flying above the city on Saturday morning before strikes resumed around 11am. 

Zumar, which lays just west of the Mosul Dam, has changed hands several times.  Islamic State forces captured Zumar from Peshmerga forces in early August, but the city was temporarily recaptured by the Iraqi Kurdish troops on September 1st. It last fell to ISIS in mid-October following a Kurdish retreat from the area. 

When Peshmerga and Syrian Kurdish forces recaptured Rabia, a town laying on the Syrian-Iraqi border, in early October they began a push to cut off several key ISIS transit routes for fighters, supplies, and financing for their Iraqi operations. 

Capturing Zumar is a part of this wider strategy, and it would also allow Peshmerga fighters to attack Shingal and Tal Afar, other important ISIS possessions along transit routes from its strongholds in Syria to Mosul.

If Peshmerga succeed in taking these towns, it would open the way to Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and the biggest ISIS prize so far.
 
This article has been updated at 14:28 25/10/14 to reflect the current number of towns controlled by Peshmerga.  

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john | 25/10/2014
biji peshmerga! biji kurdistan! peshmerga will liberate mosul, sinjar then qaraqosh definitely!
ARGUSHI (USA) | 25/10/2014
Congratulation to our brave Peshmerga. keep pushing this EVIL ISIS back until they all go to hell. This terrorists do not deserve to live on this beautiful planet. HAR BIJI PESHMERGA
Unity | 25/10/2014
You captured Rabia together with YPG, and with the help of them again. You can retake Zumar. But be sure to give them ammounation and guns before and after. They need evry bullet. After two years of war. Even the PKK, have problem to supply YPG. Its an ground battle, city wars. You need much more ammo and guns than guerilla warfare.
Muraz Adzhoev | 25/10/2014
Of course the Peshmerga will succeed in imtegrating Southern Kurdistan to let the People and the authorized institutions of the sovereign power conduct as soon as possible the referendum on its independent democratic and secular statehood. In Novermber-December the world will hear the President of the Kurdistan Region announcing about the Declaration of Independence of Southern Kurdistan and the date of the referendum.
David (Europe) | 25/10/2014
Confiscate all the property (houses, fields, livestock, vehicles and personal weapons) from the local islamic state supporters and informers and distribute their assets to new settlers from the minorities as well as kurds displaced from arabic Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. Forbid the islamic state supporters and sympathizers to own property in the peshmerga dominated region. Try to advance all the way to the Tigris river, including eastern Mosul. Learn from the israelis. If you don't prepare the post islamic state period now, you will be slaughtered by the arabs. You will never have a chance to build a "Great Kurdistan" but you can build a small strong independent country. Build a strong regular army now or you will not survive. Learn from history.
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