Kur­dish Pesh­merga sur­round Mo­sul from three sides

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Kur­dish Pesh­merga forces have sur­rounded Mo­sul from three sides ahead of a planned op­er­a­tion to lib­er­ate the city from Is­lamic State of Iraq and Syria con­trol, a se­nior Pesh­merga of­fi­cial said.

Pesh­merga Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ja­mal Mo­hamed said: “Over the past few months, Pesh­merga forces have been able to make sig­nif­i­cant ad­vances east, west and north of Mo­sul and our op­er­a­tions there have com­pletely cut off ISIS from th­ese ar­eas.”

“Our forces are now very close to Mo­sul. In some cases we are no fur­ther than 10–15 kilo­me­ters [6.2–9.3 miles] from the city and are in con­trol of all the main bridges in the sur­round­ing Eski and Al-Kasak area, which is the main link be­tween Mo­sul and Tal Afar,” he added.

Kur­dish Pesh­merga forces have been grad­u­ally ad­vanc­ing on Iraq’s sec­ond city, which has been un­der ISIS con­trol since June 2014. Bagh­dad has also moved for­ward with con­tro­ver­sial plans to form a Na­tional Guard to as­sist in the on­go­ing fight against ISIS, with Kur­dish Pesh­merga forces also en­ter­ing a new phase of train­ing af­ter re­ceiv­ing re­newed pledges of for­eign mil­i­tary as­sis­tance.

Italy’s top de­fence of­fi­cial Luigi Benelli Manetelli on Tues­day pledged that his coun­try would pro­vide arms, ammu- ni­tion and ad­vanced weaponry to Pesh­merga forces, while more than 50 Ital­ian mil­i­tary ex­perts are al­ready pro­vid­ing Kur­dish forces with train­ing in the semi-au­ton­o­mous re­gion. Canadian and US ex­perts have al­ready trained as many as 4,000 Kur­dish po­lice­men, a lo­cal of­fi­cial said. The new Iraqi and Kur­dish forces will not only as­sist in the fight against ISIS, but seek to en­sure that any lib­er­ated ter­ri­tory does not fall back into ISIS hands.

Pesh­merga Col. Kam­ran Hawrami said: “We are in con­trol of the fi­nal point of the Eski and AlKasak ar­eas. Our next move will be to­wards Mo­sul, and we are just wait­ing for or­ders to be is­sued.”

“ISIS po­si­tions within Mo­sul are now within range of our guns and mis­siles, and we are con­tin­u­ously tar­get­ing them,” he added.

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