Pesh­marga re­take Zu­mar from IS, as Pesh­marga de­ploy to Kobane

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Kur­dish forces re­took the north­ern Iraqi town of Zu­mar and sev­eral nearby vil­lages from Is­lamic State early on Satur­day after heavy coali­tion air strikes against the Is­lamist in­sur­gents, se­cu­rity sources said.

A Kur­dish in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer in Zu­mar said Pesh­merga forces had ad­vanced from five di­rec­tions in the early morn­ing and en­coun­tered fierce re­sis­tance, but ul­ti­mately pre­vailed. A spokesman for the Pesh­merga min­istry also said Zu­mar was now in Kur­dish hands.

Zu­mar was one of the first Kur­dish-con­trolled towns to be over­run in Au­gust by Is­lamic State mil­i­tants who went on to threaten the au­ton­o­mous re­gion's cap­i­tal, prompt­ing air strikes by the United States - a cam­paign since joined by Bri­tain and France.

If the Kurds are able to keep Zu­mar, it would make it eas­ier for them to ad­vance on Sin­jar, where Is­lamic State mil­i­tants are be­sieg­ing mem­bers of Iraq's Ya- zidi mi­nor­ity on a moun­tain.

Helped by the air strikes, Kur­dish forces have re­gained ground from Is­lamic State but progress has been ham­pered by a lack of heavy weaponry and by home­made bombs and booby-traps laid by the mil­i­tants.

The Kurds claimed vic­tory in Zu­mar in Septem­ber, only to with­draw from the town again after suf­fer­ing heavy losses.

One Pesh­merga fighter de­ployed in the area on Satur­day said a sniper was still at large in a vil­lage ad­ja­cent to Zu­mar, and a car bomb had ex­ploded when they ap­proached the ve­hi­cle, killing seven Pesh­merga.

In another vil­lage, Ayn alHelwa, the Pesh­merga said 17 mil­i­tants had been taken cap­tive, all of whom were Sunni Turk­men from the nearby Iraqi city of Tel Afar.

Ac­cord­ing to sources from the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment’s Min­istry of Pesh­marga, the Kur­dish Pesh­marga forces will leave Kur­dis­tan Re­gion of Iraq to­wards Kobane, and the force should go through Turkey.

It was ex­pected that Pesh­marga will leave on Sun­day, but due to tech­ni­cal is­sues they will leave on Mon­day.

The KRG and Turk­ish gov­ern­ments are pre­par­ing to al­low Pesh­marga to go cross Turkey and reach Kobane. This is­sue has been wel­comed by Kur­dish peo­ple not only from Iraq but from Kur­dish parts in Turkey, Syria and Iran.

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