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Rudaw

Iraq

UPDATE: Peshmerga take control of strategic town northeast of Mosul

By Rudaw 25/10/2014
"Zumar is controlled by the Peshmarga forces. ISIS completely evacuated it," Sheikh Ahmad Mohammad, the leader of an elite Peshmerga unit in Zumar, told Rudaw Saturday afternoon.

ZUMAR/ERBIL - Peshmerga have taken control of Zumar, a strategic town on a highway connecting Islamic State (ISIS) territory in Syria to their largest city, Mosul, a Peshmerga commander told Rudaw.

"Zumar is controlled by the Peshmarga forces. ISIS completely evacuated it," Sheikh Ahmad Mohammad, the leader of an elite Peshmerga unit in Zumar, told Rudaw Saturday afternoon.  

On Saturday Kurdish units took 13 villages surrounding Zumar before entering the town, where they drove out Islamic State fighters. A number of villages including Jaziri, Sinana Jadid, Boti, Grikafir, Girber, Kani Shirin, and Girbakir were used as a launching point to drive into Zumar itself.

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.

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.

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.

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.

  

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Thanksgiving soon | 25/10/2014
Shame on Turkey for occupying Kurdish land. Bijî Kurdistan.
Arzi | 25/10/2014
Great news, thanks to our heroes peshmerga, ypg, pkk. Take shingal and all kurdish land and please don't go any further instead declare independence, we will have international support to help us build our country.
Botani | 25/10/2014
credit to the peshmarga forces and almighty and brave usa airforce and it is just a matter of time for Jalawla and Shangal , however i hope i reckon it is a mistake to chase isis pests in Mosul
Carl | 25/10/2014
First, it woud be nice with a map so that we who are not familiar with the region can follow. Secondly, I guess you mean Zummar, which actually is northwest of Mosul, not norteast. It is roughly just west of the Mosul Dam, if I am not mistaken (Zumar is more to the south, closer to Kirkuk). By writing norteast, Rudaw causes unnecessary worries, since if this were true ISIS would be closing in on kurdish heartland again.
Future | 25/10/2014
ISIS is nothing in relation to the Shias influence! Iran, Syria and Maleki!!

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