Iraqi forces clear ISIS south of Makhmour
Peshmerga and Iraqi security forces (ISF) conducted joint operations against ISIS on Mount Qarachogh, near Makhmour on Monday with the support of international coalition forces and airstrikes.
The operation, launched early morning with about 500 Peshmerga, was “successfully” concluded Monday evening, the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) stated.
Thirty square kilometres of territory was cleared south of the mountain.
In the operation, coalition planes “also destroyed caves and tunnels used by the militants,” the KRSC stated.
“ISIS terrorists capitalized on the Peshmerga-ISF security gaps in the area to attack nearby forces,” the council added.
The coalition commended the operation that “successfully cleared a Daesh [ISIS] safe haven.”
“Our partners fought valiantly today as they continue to remove remaining elements of a savage enemy from their country,” said Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, commanding general of the coalition’s special operations, in a statement released Tuesday.
“This action proves the enemy cannot hide. Our partners are well trained and they will continue to find Daesh terrorists wherever they are. We are proud to work alongside these highly professional and brave forces, who have sacrificed so much in this fight.”
The Peshmerga suffered a number of casualties. Capt. Aziz Bayiz was killed, Rudaw has learned. Social media reports indicate another five to seven Peshmerga were also killed.
Official casualty figures have not yet been released.
At least 14 ISIS militants were killed.
Makhmour is a disputed or Kurdistani area that has been the security responsibility of the ISF since the federal takeover of the disputed areas on October 16.