VIDEO: Peshmarga Kurdish Fighters Set up Bashiqa Operation against ISIS Terrorists

Tue Nov 8, 2016 12:34:07

Iraqi Kurdish fighters continued to exchange fire with Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) militants early on Tuesday as they advanced from two directions into a town held by the group east of Mosul.

The offensive to reclaim the town of Bashiqa is part of the broader push to drive ISIS out of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city and the militants' last major urban stronghold in the country.

Combat began on Monday with a Kurdish barrage of heavy artillery, Katyusha rockets and mortar rounds slamming into ISIS positions, providing cover for the advance of armored columns.

Bashiqa, which is believed to be largely deserted except for dozens of ISIS fighters, is located about 13 kilometers (eight miles) northeast of Mosul's outskirts and about 20 kilometers (13 miles) from the city center.

Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, backed by a US-led coalition and joined by government-sanctioned militias, are fighting to drive the IS group out of those surrounding areas and open additional fronts to attack Mosul itself.

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