- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2015

Kurdish forces on Friday declared they had driven out Islamic State militants from the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar after just a two-day battle with the help of U.S. airstrikes.

The victory is one of the most significant counter-attacks since the militants swept through the region last year.

“ISIL defeated and on the run,” the Kurdistan regional security council tweeted, using an acronym for the Islamic State. It said the peshmerga had secured Sinjar’s wheat silo, cement factory, hospital and several other public buildings.

Iraqi Kurdish regional President Masoud Barzani also touted the victory and said the offensive will provide momentum in efforts to retake the western provincial capital Ramadi, and Mosul in the north, an Islamic State stronghold.

“The liberation of Sinjar will have a big impact on liberating Mosul,” Mr. Barzani told reporters atop Mount Sinjar, overlooking the town, Reuters reported.

Pockets of resistance remained Friday afternoon, but the Kurdish fighters had effectively retaken Sinjar “without a doubt,” a CNN correspondent said.

News of the victory in Sinjar comes as several news reports indicated that the U.S. likely killed Jihadi John, a prominent Islamic State figure in an airstrike Thursday.

The Briton had been shown beheading western hostages in several Islamic State propaganda videos.

The takeover in Sinjar has cut off several supply route used by the Islamic State group to move fighters, weapons, oil and other supplies and commodities that provide funding for its terrorist activities.

 

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