Saturday, December 19, 2015

Islamic State routed by Peshmerga in battle near Mosul

The first major attack in months by the ISIS against peshmerga forces around Mosul ends in a fiasco. The US air strikes seem to have done a lion's share of the job

By GORDON LUBOLD (WSJ) {

“The pesh got a little bit of a black eye, but they put the other guy in the hospital,” said Col. Warren. “This is the largest punch that ISIL has thrown, and the pesh handily defeated them,” he said.

After a 17-hour battle, which included Peshmerga fighters supported by U.S., French, British and Canadian aircraft, scores of Islamic State militants were dead, including 180 fighters killed by airstrikes. More than 20 others were killed in fighting with Peshmerga forces on the ground, a U.S. military official said.

Brig. Gen. Mark Odom, the senior American officer in charge in northern Iraq, said Islamic State attacks are fewer and have become less lethal in recent months. Attacks that do occur originate from a greater distance and rely more on indirect fire, like artillery, rockets and mortar, rather than direct attacks at closer range, using small arms and other weaponry.

[...]

Iraqi forces have begun to push Islamic State out of Ramadi in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, according to U.S. defense officials. Once that goal is accomplished, Iraqi and coalition forces plan to set their sights on retaking Mosul, a city of about 1 million people, that Islamic State seized last summer.

The U.S. expects to deliver equipment to Peshmerga fighters who will assist in the retaking of Mosul, arranging for shipment of the equivalent of two brigades worth of arms and ammunition to be used for the “encirclement” of Mosul, Mr. Carter said.

Source = Islamic State Routed in Iraq Battle }