Peshmerga and National Guards advancing towards Mosul
By: Ismail Zabeeh
ERBIL, Iraq: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 (ISIS) control, a senior Peshmerga
According to Asharq Al-Awsat, 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 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 defense official Luigi Benelli Manetelli on Tuesday
pledged that his country would provide arms, ammunition 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 told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We are in control
of the final point of the Eski and Al-Kasak 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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