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Thursday, March 12, 2015

DOD REPORTS PESMERGA FIGHTERS SEIZE KEY RIDGELINE IN NORTHERN IRAQ

FROM:  U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT
Peshmerga Fighters Take Key ISIL Ridgeline in Northern Iraq
From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, March 11, 2015 – Peshmerga fighters, supported by Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve airstrikes, seized a key ridgeline west of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, task force officials reported today.
The peshmerga forces overcame ISIL resistance in this section of Iraq and denied the terrorist group its freedom of maneuver in the area, officials said. The March 9 operation also pushed ISIL further away from the Kirkuk oilfields.
During the operation, peshmerga forces seized critical portions of Route 80 in Iraq, according to officials. In addition, the peshmerga forces pushed ISIL 2 to 3 miles back over a wide front, liberating about 30 square miles of terrain formerly held by ISIL.
Coalition Airstrikes in Support
Coalition forces conducted supporting airstrikes, resulting in the destruction of 10 enemy fighting positions, five tactical units and 10 ISIL weapons systems, officials said.
“This operation is another step on the path to ultimately defeating Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ISIL]. It clearly demonstrates the ability of peshmerga forces to degrade Daesh influence in Northern Iraq,” said Army Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve commander.
The Inherent Resolve coalition will continue to support efforts to attack and defeat ISIL, officials said. Peshmerga fighters now hold the gains they have made and are postured to retake additional territory from ISIL in the region, officials added