Sunday 28 December 2014

Kurdish forces - supported by US air strikes - seize back two towns from insurgents

Published 10/08/2014 | 16:04

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take cover during airstrikes targeting Islamic State militants near Irbil (AP)
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take cover during airstrikes targeting Islamic State militants near Irbil (AP)
Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle at the camp of Bajid Kandala (AP)
Thousands of Yezidis trapped in the Sinjar mountains as they tried to escape from Islamic State forces. Emrah Yorulmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Refugees from the violence in the Iraqi province of Nineveh arrive at Sulaimaniya province. Inset: Kurdish peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants on the front line in Khazer
A displaced Iraqi Christian woman holds a picture of her four-year-old relative, David, who was killed by militants, at St. Joseph Church in Irbil, northern Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. Late Wednesday, militants overran a cluster of predominantly Christian villages alongside the country's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, sending tens of thousands of civilians and Kurdish fighters fleeing from the area, several priests in northern Iraq said Thursday. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Refugees from the violence in the Iraqi province of Nineveh arrive at Sulaimaniya province. Inset: Kurdish peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants on the front line in Khazer
Displaced families from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing the violence, walk on the outskirts of Sinjar, west of Mosul
A member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces sit with a weapon during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Makhmur
Sailors launch aircraft from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Gulf

Kurdish forces, supported by U.S. air strikes, took back two towns in northern Iraq from Islamic State militants but it will take time to turn the tide of the conflict, a senior Kurdish official told Reuters.

Hoshiyar Zebari said the Kurds had recaptured the towns of Guwair and Makhmur. Asked how long the United States would have to continue airstrikes to help the Kurds defeat the Islamic State, Zebari said: "As President Obama said, there is no time limit."

US President Barack Obama said on Saturday that it would take some time to tackle Islamic State fighters whose latest push through northern Iraq has rattled the Baghdad government and its Western allies.

Reuters

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