TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iraqi Kurdish Peshmarga forces stormed a Daesh-held town northeast of Mosul Monday, clearing a pocket of militants outside the city while Iraqi troops wage a fierce urban war with Daesh terrorists in its eastern neighborhoods.
In Bashiqa, 15 km from Mosul, a 2,000-strong Peshmarga force sought to drive out the Takfiri militants from the town, which lies on the Ninevah plains at the foot of a mountain.
Iraq’s artillery pounded Bashiqa before the Kurdish Peshmerga entered the town in armored vehicles, Humvees and on foot.
“Our aim is to take control and clear out all the Daesh militants,” Lt. Col. Safeen Rasoul told Reuters as the operation began. “Our estimates are there are about 100 still left and 10 suicide cars.”
Daesh terrorists have sought to slow the offensive on their Mosul stronghold with waves of suicide car bomb attacks. Iraqi commanders say there have been 100 on the eastern front and 140 in the south.
Kurdish military authorities later said the Peshmarga were carrying out house-to-house searches in the town.
In eastern districts of Mosul, which Iraqi special forces broke into last week, officers say militants melted into the population, ambushing and isolating troops in what the special forces spokesman called the world’s “toughest urban warfare.”
Iraqi security forces and Peshmerga fighters started the massive offensive against the Takfiri group on Oct. 17.
The recapture of Mosul would mark the Takfiri militants’ effective defeat in the Iraqi half of the territory they had seized.