Wednesday, 6 August 2014

In Iraq, Kurds push for more territory

Kurdish President Massoud Barzani says he ordered Peshmerga forces to move from their defensive postures and strike at Islamic State (IS) militants to regain lost territory August 5…A Kurdish source said security forces struck in Sinjar district and killed dozens of militants, with the expectation that Peshmerga will retake the entire district within hours…Iraqi warplanes launched air strikes in the district…The Iraqi army collapsed a month ago as IS advanced south from Syria, it has been consolidating Baghdad ever since…however, the Kurds have never been closer to having a country of their own…when IS took Mosul and Tikrit earlier in the year, the Kurds moved into Kirkuk very soon afterwards noticing a perfect opportunity…the Peshmerga forces aren't much more than a well-armed militia without armour or air power but are the only fighting group IS has been afraid to engage…the Kurds will be looking to gain more territory to eventually bargain with Baghdad, this will depend on how strong Baghdad emerges after the current strife…another goal is pushing IS back from the Kurdish border to create a standoff zone for greater protection…IS number perhaps about 3000 fighters spread over a huge area and are vulnerable to a highly motivated force like the Peshmerga.

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