Mosul (Iraq), Aug 14 (IANS) Iraqi Kurdish security forces have on Sunday freed nine villages from the Islamic State militants in Mosul, a major stronghold of the group, a Kurdish security source said.
After heavy artillery shelling and US-led air strikes on the IS positions, the Kurdish troops, known as Peshmerga, launched an attack on the villages scattered in the northeast of Mosul, the security source told Xinhua news agency on condition of anonymity.
The extremist militants fought back with mortar shells and machine guns and detonated roadside bombs and booby-trapped cars, the source said.
But the Kurdish fighters with their armoured vehicles managed to enter at least nine villages, despite continued clashes around other villages.
Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, has been under IS control since June 2014, when the Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, giving opportunities for IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq’s northern and western regions.