Iraq: Kurdish forces launch new advance northeast of Mosul

Iraqi and Kurdish forces have been battling IS in a belt of mostly uninhabited towns and villages around Mosul.

By: AP | Khazer | Published:October 23, 2016 1:16 pm
Smoke rises at Islamic State militants' positions in the town of Naweran near Mosul, Iraq, October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari Smoke rises at Islamic State militants’ positions in the town of Naweran near Mosul, Iraq, October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Kurdish forces have launched a new push on Mosul as part of a massive Iraqi operation aimed at retaking the country’s second largest city from the Islamic State group. The Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, said they launched a dawn offensive Sunday on two fronts to the northeast of Mosul, near the town of Bashiqa.

Over the last week, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have been battling IS in a belt of mostly uninhabited towns and villages around Mosul, contending with roadside bombs, snipers and suicide truck bombs.

The Mosul offensive involves more than 25,000 Iraqi ground forces as well as U.S.-led coalition aircraft and advisers. It is expected to take weeks, if not months, to drive IS from Mosul, which is home to more than a million civilians.