Iraqi forces move toward Mosul as IS attacks a western town
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.