Kurdish forces pound Islamic State militants northeast of Baghdad
Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 01:27
Iraqi Kurdish forces are in a push to dislodge Islamic State militants from two strategic positions northeast of Baghdad that remain the deadliest flashpoints in their fighting with the Islamists. Mana Rabiee reports.
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About a two hour's drive northeast of Baghdad, in Diyala province, Kurdish pershmerga are pounding the town of Sadiyah.
They're trying to wrest back control of the town from Islamic State militants who captured Sadiyah more than a week ago.
They're bombarded the town from the high ground to the north -- while Iraqi government forces attack the town from the south.
The militants took control of villages and towns in Diyala in June...and then more territory in August.
The radical offshoot of al Qaeda has seized whole swaths of both Syria and Iraq, and vows to set up a Sunni Muslim caliphate with no regard for modern borders.
But now, their advance in areas southeast of Arbil has been disrupted - with the backing of US airstrikes -- which peshmerga Brigadier-General Sardar Anwar, says are welcome assistance.
(SOUNDBITE) (ARABIC) BRIGADIER-GENERAL SARDAR ANWAR, SAYING:
"The U.S. air strike helps us from the military point of view and it has an effect on them. They used to escape when the war jets came."
After five days of heavy clashes, the peshmerga were securing the area with house to house searches.
The town of Jawala -- a strategic point in Diyala province -- is still at stake.
It's only a half-hour's drive from the Iranian border and one of the deadliest flashpoints in battles between peshmerga and the Islamic State enemies.
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