Iraqi forces move to­ward Mo­sul as IS at­tacks a western town

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Iraqi Kur­dish forces pushed to­ward Mo­sul on Sun­day, cor­don­ing off eight vil­lages and com­ing within 5½ miles of the north­ern city held by the Is­lamic State group, which staged an at­tack in a western town hun­dreds of miles away in an ap­par­ent di­ver­sion­ary tac­tic.

The Kur­dish forces, known as pesh­merga, said the area they cor­doned off is about 38 square miles, and that they also se­cured a “sig­nif­i­cant stretch” of high­way. The state­ment said eight car bombs were de­stroyed in the op­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing three by U.S.-led coali­tion air­craft, and “dozens” of mil­i­tants were killed.

The of­fen­sive near the town of Bashiqa came nearly a week af­ter Iraq an­nounced the start of the lon­gawaited Mo­sul of­fen­sive. Iraqi and Kur­dish forces are ap­proach­ing from the north, east and south through a belt of mostly aban­doned and heav­ily mined vil­lages scat­tered across the Ninevah plain.

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