Kurdish forces free 7 villages in Iraq from ISIS
Western-backed Kurdish fighters freed seven villages from the clasps of ISIS in northern Iraq
Western-backed Kurdish fighters freed seven villages from the clasps of ISIS in northern Iraq in recent days, the U.S.-led coalition battling the militants said Friday.
But the extremists still control broad swathes of land in the war-torn country, where ISIS has waged a terrifying offensive of forced religious conversions and beheadings.
Bolstered by coalition airstrikes, the Peshmerga fighters wrestled back more than 200 square kilometers (80 square miles) near the town of Tuz since August 26, the Combined Joint Task Force said.
Planes and drones conducted a total of 25 strikes, helping the Kurdish forces in “liberating seven villages,” a statement said.
Elsewhere in Iraq, the situation remains more static, a spokesman for the U.S. military’s Central Command (Centcom) said.
In Ramadi, capital of the key battleground province of Anbar, Iraqi forces continue to try and isolate the city, which fell into IS hands in May.
“It remains a challenging fight” said Centcom spokesman Colonel Patrick Ryder.
Meanwhile in the Baiji area north of Baghdad, where fierce fighting has lasted for months, Iraqi forces “continue to hold their ground” at an oil refinery that has been scene of much fighting.
Within the city of Baiji itself ISIS has taken “back some ground but they paid a very heavy price for it.”
Overall, Iraqi forces “are dealing with some tough challenges in certain areas,” Ryder said, but ISIS is under pressure to allocate its resources and “continues to lose fighters and leaders at a high rate.”
On Thursday, two suicide attacks claimed by ISIS killed two Iraqi generals in Anbar.
Iraq PM orders opening of green zoneHaider al-Abadi on Friday ordered security commanders to make it easier for civilians to get into Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone Middle East
FBI warns U.S. art dealers about antiquities looted from Syria, IraqThe looting of ancient artifacts across Iraq and Syria and their sale on the black market has become a source of funding for ISIS militants Middle East
ISIS attack in Iraq kills 23 soldiers, Sunni fightersThe officials said the attack killed 17 soldiers and six Sunni militia fighters in the rural district of Jaramshah, north of Ramadi Middle East
ISIS ambushes, kills 53 Iraq troopsA top provincial official in Iraq’s Anbar province says up to 50 soldiers have been killed by ISIS militants Middle East
U.S.-led coalition stages 27 air strikes on ISISTwenty-two of the strikes were in Iraq and five attacks were in Syria Middle East