Category: Kurds

Kurdish forces in big push against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria | World news | The Guardian| Will the the world support Kurdistan or turn their backs again?

Peshmerga fighters tighten noose around Mosul as Iraqi forces target Falluja and Syrians advance north of Raqqa stronghold

Source: Kurdish forces in big push against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria | World news | The Guardian

The Kurds Should Prepare Themselves for Yet Another Betrayal | The Nation

The Kurdish national motto, The Kurds Have No Friends, may prove to be particularly apt in the course of the coming months, despite the crucially important role the Kurds of Syria and Iraq have played in the fight against the Islamic State.

Source: The Kurds Should Prepare Themselves for Yet Another Betrayal | The Nation

EU countries turn a blind eye on Turkish aggression against the Kurds – Your Middle East

”Turkey is an important partner for the EU in the fight against terrorism and extremism. Clearer actions from the Turkish side in the implementation of necessa

Source: EU countries turn a blind eye on Turkish aggression against the Kurds – Your Middle East

Middle East Kurdish offensive against ISIL gains momentum Peshmerga forces have regained ground in northwestern Iraq, while Kurdish fighters also battle ISIL in Syria.

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Middle East

Kurdish offensive against ISIL gains momentum

Peshmerga forces have regained ground in northwestern Iraq, while Kurdish fighters also battle ISIL in Syria.

An offensive by Kurdish Peshmerga forces to retake territory from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in northwestern Iraq is gaining momentum.Troops have retaken a series of villages from ISIL this week and opened a corridor for thousands of minority Yazidis to escape Mount Sinjar.

Peshmerga commander Hashim Sitaie told Al Jazeera that strategic territory has been retaken.

“We have also seized major roads, particularly one that runs along the Iraqi-Syrian border. Whoever controls these areas has the upper hand,” he said.

He said US-led air strikes had helped the offensive.

Yazidis fear that girls kidnapped by ISIL have been sold as sex slaves

“We’ve been guiding the coalition jets on where to target and that really helped in increasing their accuracy,” he said.

The international coalition battling ISIL has continued air strikes in the vincinity of the Sinjar Mountains in recent days, claiming to have destroyed vehicles and other infrastructure used by the group.

The Peshmerga managed to break an ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar on December 18, enabling thousands of Yazidi fighters and civilians trapped on top of the mountain for months to leave.

The Yazidis, who ISIL consider heratics, sought sanctuary on the mountain after ISIL attacked their villages in August, kidnapping or killing thousands of them.

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow, reporting from the area on Thursday, said a road that just days ago was under the control of ISIL is now being used as an escape route for Yazidis.

“The stream of vehicles carrying Yazidis fleeing the Sinjar Mountains is endless,” he said.

Syria battles

In neighbouring Syria, where ISIL controls large swathes of land, Kurdish forces are also battling the group.

At least 44 ISIL fighters were killed in clashes with members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Thursday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Thirty of them were killed when YPG regained control of the village of Qassiab in Hasakeh province, the London-based Observatory said.

Another 14 ISIL fighters were killed in the town of Kobane on the Turkish border, the group said.

Fighting over Kobane began in mid-September, when the ISIL launched a bid to take it over, prompting tens of thousands of Kurds to cross the Turkish border.

Coalition air strikes and Iraqi Peshmerga have since backed YPG in the fight.

 

Print Email Facebook Twitter More Islamic State: Militants release 25 kidnapped Kurdish schoolchildren; execute dozens of tribesmen in Iraq

islamic state militants set up billboards in syria declaring victory against coalition

Photo: Islamic State militants erect billboards in eastern Syria stating; “We will win despite the global coalition”. (Reuters: Nour Fourat)

Islamic State (IS) militants have released 25 Kurdish schoolchildren who were kidnapped by fighters in northern Syria in May, a rights group says.

IS militants abducted more than 150 children, aged 13 and 14, as they were returning to their hometown of Kobane after sitting exams in Aleppo, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.

The 25 were the last of the children to be freed by the jihadists.

Five others were allowed to leave earlier this week before the final group were released on Wednesday, the SOHR said.

“It is true. They were released from (the Syrian town of) Minbij. This is the last part of the releases,” Idris Nassan, deputy foreign minister of Kobane district, said.

He said he did not know why the children had been released, but suggested it could be part of a “propaganda” campaign.

Fifteen children were released in June as a hostage swap to free three IS militants held by Kurdish forces, according to the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Two boys who escaped captivity told local media the IS group was forcing the children to undergo lessons in jihadist ideology, the rights group said.

The children’s release comes on the same day IS fighters executed more than 40 members of a tribe that fought against them in Iraq’s Anbar province, officials said.

The men from the Albu Nimr tribe were killed in Hit, northwest of the capital Baghdad.

A police colonel and a leader from the anti-jihadist Sahwa forces confirmed the killings.

IS has overrun large areas of Anbar, and the killings are likely aimed at discouraging resistance from powerful local tribes, who will be key to any successful bid to retake the province.

Pro-government forces have suffered a string of setbacks in Anbar in recent weeks. That has prompted warnings the province, which stretches from the borders with Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the western approach to Baghdad, could fall entirely.

IS militants have spearheaded an offensive that has overrun much of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland since June.