ISIS exploits rain, hits Iraqi militias near Mosul

2016-12-04 09:50
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Baghdad - Islamic State militants have staged near simultaneous attacks on positions of state-sanctioned militias west and south of Iraq's northern city of Mosul, apparently taking advantage of bad weather conditions that normally disrupt air support, two militia officials said on Saturday.

One official said ISIS militants breached the defences of Shi'ite militiamen at a village west of the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar.  He said the attack on the village of Sharea took place on Friday night and fighting continued into Saturday.

An ISIS statement said on Saturday the attack on the village began with a suicide car bombing that killed and wounded "dozens" of militiamen. A "multi-pronged" attack on the village followed, forcing the militiamen to flee, it added.

ISIS fighters seized from the militiamen nine all-terrain vehicles fitted with machine guns, two Humvees, weapons and munitions, according to the statement.

Extremist group

In the second attack, the militants targeted a Sunni tribal militia deployed in the town of Shirqat south of Mosul on Friday night, according to an official from the militia.

Bad weather persisted in northern Iraq on Saturday, with thick fog, rain and a dust storm. Such conditions normally reduce to a minimum air activity by the Iraqi military or the allied US-led coalition.

The Shi'ite militias last month seized the airstrip just outside Tal Afar, but no attack has yet been launched to retake the city itself. Both Tal Afar and Mosul were captured by ISIS in 2014 as part of a blitz by the extremist group that gave them control over large swaths of territory in northern and western Iraq.

The Iraqi government in October launched a massive campaign to retake Mosul, the country's second-largest city and the last major urban centre still held by ISIS in Iraq.

Also on Saturday, two bombs went off at separate Baghdad locations, killing nine people and wounding 24, according to police and hospital officials.


Read more on:    isis  |  iraq

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