Kurdish forces break IS siege of Mount Sinjar 

Kurdish forces

Baghdad, Dec 19: Kurdish forces have said they have broken the Islamic State (IS) siege of Mount Sinjar, where thousands of Yazidis and other displaces Iraqis have been trapped since August.

The Kurds have termed it as their biggest victory yet against the IS militants.

IS controls a swathe of Iraq and Syria, where it has imposed a caliphate.

The Kurdish offensive against IS militants besieging Mount Sinjar began early on Wednesday with the most intensive round of air strikes yet by US and coalition forces – 45 in all.

On the ground, about 8,000 Kurdish peshmerga fighters launched a two-pronged attack which they said had succeeded in opening a wide corridor to allow members of the Yazidi minority and others to leave the place.

Masrur Barzani, Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council, said the operation had been to advance from Zumar – which Kurdish forces recaptured in October – to Mount Sinjar and to rescue the Yazidi people trapped there.

“It was a very big operation and thankfully it was concluded very successfully,” BBC quoted Barzani as saying.

A statement from the Kurdish command said large numbers of IS militant fighters had fled westwards into Syria or eastwards towards Mosul, which they captured in June.

IS captured the town of Sinjar in August forcing thousands of residents, mainly from the Yazidi sect, to flee. Many were airlifted off the nearby mountain but thousands more who came later found themselves trapped.

 

The Oslo Times The Oslo Times The Oslo Times The Oslo Times
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