Kurdish President Barzani Declares Victory
*****Kurdish forces entered the center of Sinjar in a lightening defeat of the Islamic State. AP reported that the Kurdish fighters have taken control of central Sinjar. Photos published by Rudaw news agency show Peshmerga fighters walking in streets of Sinjar on Friday. Kurdish flags are raised over key buildings in the city.
Peshmerga forces have entered Sinjar “from all direction,” said a statement by regional Kurdish Security Council. “ISIL is defeated and on the run,” the statement added. The Peshmerga began clearing the town of Islamic State fighters and explosives. The cleanup operation might take days.
The offensive to retake Sinjar began in earnest on Thursday, with some 7,500 Kurdish fighters closed in on three fronts after the U.S.-led coalition warplanes heavily bombed Islamic State positions, command-and-control facilities and weapons depots. Within hours they had successfully blocked Highway 47, the main line of communications between Mosul, to the east, and Raqqa to the west, ISIL command centers in Iraq and Syria respectively.
Photo credit: Peshmerga forces in streets of Sinjar; Friday, 13 November 2015 (Rudaw)
Map credit: BBC