Kurdish Forces Retake Key Iraqi Town From Islamic State

© AP Photo / Hussein MallaKurdish peshmerga fighters
Kurdish peshmerga fighters - Sputnik International
Kurdish forces, helped by US-led airstrikes, pushed Islamic State militants out of Sinjar, a city in northwestern Iraq.

MOSCOW, December 20 (Sputnik) — Kurdish forces on Saturday retook Iraq’s northwestern town of Sinjar, as they proceed with their advances against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, a Sputnik Radio correspondent from Erbil reported.

Thick smoke rises following an airstrike by the US-led coalition in Kobani, Syria as fighting intensified between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, as seen from Mursitpinar in the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. - Sputnik International
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The Kurdish fighters, known as the Peshmerga, entered the town of Sinjar, which sits on a road linking the Iraqi city of Mosul to neighboring Syria and is a key supply route for the IS militants, following a two-day military operation.

Zaim Ali, the commander of peshmerga for Sinjar, Zumar and Mosul dam, told Sputnik Radio correspondent that “the remaining [IS] militants are retreating in panic and fleeing the war zone.”

The Peshmarga, battling the IS militants near Sinjar, are being aided by airstrikes and intelligence from US-led alliance forces, Bloomberg reported.

“The operation is being conducted under personal command of the Kurdistan region's president Massoud Barzani,” the peshmerga commander added.

The Islamic State is a Sunni jihadi group that launched an offensive in northern and western Iraq in June and announced the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control. Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, was also occupied by the group in June. Iraqi and Kurdish troops are preparing to recapture the city.

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