VIDEO: Iraqi Kurdish Troops Leading First Push on Mosul's Eastern Front

Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:16:36

Iraq's Special Forces say the Iraqi Kurdish troops, known as the Peshmerga, are leading the first push on Mosul's eastern front toward the city held by the Islamic State (ISIS, IS, ISIL and Daesh) group.

Speaking just hours after the long-awaited battle for Mosul began on Monday morning, a Special Forces commander said that he expects his troops to wait near the town of Khazer for another day or two before moving to the frontline.

According to Lt Col Ali Hussein, an earlier political deal between the country's Kurdish region and the central government in Baghdad has agreed that Kurdish forces would advance first and bring a cluster of villages - the home of Christian, Shabak and other minority groups - under their regional control.

Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, has been under ISIS rule for more than two years and is still home to more than a million civilians, according to estimates from the United Nations. The fight is expected to be the most complex yet for Iraq's military, AP reports.

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