Peshmerga, Shi'ite militia drive IS fighters from Sulaiman Pek stronghold
Monday, September 01, 2014 - 01:29
Video captures the fighting as Shi'te militia and Kurdish peshmerga fighters battle Islamic State militants, driving them out of their stronghold in Sulaiman Pek, south of Kirkuk. Mana Rabiee reports.
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Shi'ite fighters entering the town of Sulaiman Pek, south of Kirkuk.
They're with the Asaib Ahl Al-Haq militia, believed to be funded by Iran, and they've been fighting to drive out Islamic State Sunni militants from their stronghold in this mostly Sunni area of Iraq.
On Monday, the Asaib succeeded.
With help from Iraqi air power and Kurdish peshmerga fighters, they retook the town.
A military source says this effectively ends three months of Islamic State control in the area.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ASAIB AHL AL-HAQ MILITIA FIGHTER, HAMZA MOHAMMED, SAYING:
"We, the heroes of Asaib, stormed into Sulaiman Pek town and as you have seen we started to clear out the area."
A house to house search operation to secure the area.
Shi'ite militia groups like this one have been increasingly active in the fighting since June, when Islamic State launched its blitz across northern Iraq.
Their success in Sulaiman Pek comes one day after Shi'ite militias and Iraqi security forces drove out IS militants from Amerli, ending a two-month long siege there.
It was a huge strategic win, after a violent summer that saw the Islamic State and their Sunni supporters seize almost one-third of the country's territory.
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