Erbil, Iraq — Iraqi forces battled Sunday through booby-traps, sniper fire and suicide car bombs to tighten the noose around Mosul, while also hunting Daesh extremists behind attacks elsewhere in the country.
Kurdish forces announced a new push at dawn on Bashiqa, northeast of Mosul, where some 10,000 fighters are engaged in a huge assault to take the Daesh-held town.
Turkey said the peshmerga had requested assistance from its soldiers at a base near Bashiqa and announced it offered support with artillery and tanks.
Ankara’s claim came a day after Baghdad turned down a suggestion by visiting US Defence chief Ashton Carter — who met Kurdish leader Massud Barzani on Sunday — for Turkey to be given a part in the battle.
Launched last Monday, the assault aims to reclaim the last major Iraqi city under Daesh control, dealing another setback to the extremists’ self-declared “caliphate” in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.
The extremists hit back on Friday with a surprise assault on the Kurdish-controlled city of Kirkuk, and two days later security forces were still tracking down fighters involved in the attack.
SOURCE: News Now/The Jordan Times