Kurdish Peshmerga forces has started the second phase of Sinjar operation to free the town from the Islamic State militants, however the advance of Peshmerga in to the center of the town has been slowed due to numerous of IED inside Sinjar.
According to information obtained by BasNews from Peshmerga forces, on early Friday morning Peshmerga force have started moving in to the Kurdish Yazidi-town, which has been under the control of Islamic State since August 2014.
A special team from Peshmerga have been deployed to defuse the IEDs that have been planted by IS militants inside the town.
BasNews has learned that one of the IEDs has been blown up and inside a house and as a result four Peshmerga have been killed and 10 more injured.
Peshmerga forces on Thursday successfully reached Sinjar town from two flanks, East and West, as part of Operation Free the town.
Operation Free Sinjar, conducted under the direct supervision Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani and supported by International Coalition airstrikes, has the strategic objective of cordoning off Sinjar town and disrupting IS supply routes.
According to Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) Peshmerga forces had taken control of a significant stretch of the main road from Ba’aj to Sinjar.
Ba’aj is an IS stronghold and a staging ground for VBIEDs for use against Peshmerga positions. Video footage from Thursday morning shows IS mobilizing VBIEDs from Ba’aj to Sinjar in an effort to prevent Peshmerga advances.
Control of these key IS supplies routes will both reduce IS’s ability to reinforce its positions at Sinjar and, importantly, and limit IS’s freedom of movement between Iraq and Syria. This will in turn allow the International Coalition increase its pressure on IS militants.
On the Eastern Front, Peshmerga succeeded in reaching Shkefte Mountain, which overlooks Tal Afar and IS villages nearby. This vantage point, previously used by IS to fire mortars at Peshmerga positions, will enable the Peshmerga to monitor ISIL activity and target their positions.
On the Western Front, Peshmerga forces reached the military base of the 11th Brigade, part of the 3rd Division of the Iraqi Army.
More than 150 square kilometres have been retaken from IS. Peshmerga units will continue from three fronts to set up defensive positions, allowing engineering teams to clear the heavily mined area. Peshmerga forces have already achieved two of three strategic goals, dealing a significant blow to IS morale.
The remains of dozens of ISIL militants were left abandoned in the field. Reports indicate that over 100 IS militants were killed in Thursday operation.
KRSC reports that IS radio chatter has proven IS’s loss of morale: an IS Emir was overheard threatening any ISIL deserters from Sinjar with execution.