Peshmerga claims to be within 9km of Mosul

2016-10-23 17:16
Arabic that reads "confiscated by Islamic State" is written on a restaurant in the town of Bartella, about 15km from Mosul. (Khalid Mohammed, AP)

Arabic that reads "confiscated by Islamic State" is written on a restaurant in the town of Bartella, about 15km from Mosul. (Khalid Mohammed, AP)

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Khazer - Kurdish forces say they have "cordoned off" eight villages northeast of Mosul and are now less than 9km from the outskirts of the ISIS-held city.

Kurdish and Iraqi forces launched an operation earlier on Sunday to try and retake the town of Bashiqa, to the northeast of Mosul, part of a massive offensive that got underway a week ago.

The Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, said in a statement that the area that was cordoned off measures around 100km². They said they had also secured a "significant stretch" of highway to limit the militants' movements.

The statement says eight car bombs were destroyed in the operation, including three by US-led coalition aircraft, and "dozens" of militants were killed.

Earlier,  an Iraqi military spokesperson said troops had repelled an attack by ISIS on a western town, describing it as a bid to divert attention from the massive military operation to retake the Mosul. 

Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, said ISIS militants had attacked Rutba, in the sprawling desert province of Anbar, early on Sunday.

He said at least three suicide car bombs were blown up before reaching their targets and some militants were killed. He declined to say whether any civilians or Iraqi forces were killed.

Rasool said the militants did not seize any government buildings and that the situation "is under control". 

Read more on:    isis  |  iraq

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