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Kurdish Forces Take Back Two Towns Occupied by Militants in Iraq – Reports

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Kurdish forces have regained control of two towns in northern Iraq seized by Islamic State militants, Agence France-Presse reported on Sunday.

MOSCOW, August 10 (RIA Novosti) – Kurdish forces have regained control of two towns in northern Iraq seized by Islamic State militants, Agence France-Presse reported on Sunday.

"The Peshmerga (Kurdish fighters) have liberated Makhmur and Gwer," Peshmerga spokesman Halgord Hekmat told AFP.

Hekmat said "US aerial support helped” to liberate the towns. Representatives of the regional authorities also confirmed that the Kurdish troops had recaptured the towns following fierce battles.

Late on Thursday, US President Barack Obama gave the green light to US airstrikes targeting positions of Islamic State (IS) militants fighting in Iraq against Kurdish forces defending the city of Erbil. The President also authorized humanitarian aid to Yezidi Kurds who, as Obama stated, face “genocide.” Several airstrikes have been conducted over the past few days.

The Sunni group Islamic State (IS), previously fighting in Syria and known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), seized large parts of Iraq in early June, ratcheting up tensions in the region. In late June, the Islamic State announced the establishment of a caliphate on the territories it had captured in Iraq and Syria.

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