Posted on October 18, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Military, Mosul, Security
US predator drone. Photo: AFP
MOSUL, Iraq,— Kurdish Peshmerga forces are using U.S.-made drones during an ongoing offensive to recapture Iraq’s northern city of Mosul from Islamic State (IS) militants.
The Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces launcheda much-awaited offensive late Sunday to retake Mosul – the last IS stronghold in northern Iraq, which was overrun by the jihadi group in 2014.
According to the Anadolu Agency, at Khazir front, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Mosul, Peshmerga fighters were mounting drones inside mobile booths with the help of U.S. volunteer soldiers.
A U.S. soldier who wished to remain anonymous said they were training Peshmerga fighters about how to use the U.S.-made drones.
Peshmerga fighters, for their part, say the drones have been helpful in detecting the movement of IS militants inside Mosul.
Iraq early Monday after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of fighting to regain the Mosul.
The Kurdish Peshmerga forces said they captured nine villages held by Islamic State in Mosul operations.
On Tuesday the Kurdish forces said that they are pausing in their advance on Mosul after capturing a handful of villages to the east from the Islamic State group as the Iraqi army presses ahead with the next stage of the operation to retake the IS-held city.
In mid-2014, Islamic State group jihadists captured Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, before overrunning vast swathes of territory in the country’s north and west.
Recent months have seen the Iraqi army, backed by local allies on the ground and the U.S.-led air coalition, retake much territory. Nevertheless, the IS group remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.
In recent weeks, the army and its allies have staged a gradual advance on Mosul, which officials in Baghdad have vowed to “liberate” by year’s end.