World Bulletin / News Desk
Kurdish Peshmerga forces Tuesday "entirely liberated" Iraq’s town of Bashiqa northeast of Mosul, a Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) official has said.
Jabar Yawar, head of the KRG’s Peshmerga Ministry, said the district had been entirely purged of ISIL elements after Peshmerga forces captured the town center Monday.
Peshmerga fighters, he said, were currently clearing the area of landmines and booby-traps planted by members of the terrorist group.
According to Anadolu Agency correspondents in Bashiqa, clashes continue to break out sporadically between Peshmerga fighters and militants holed up in homes and tunnels.
The majority-Ezidi town of Bashiqa lies some 12 kilometers (roughly 8 miles) to the northeast of Mosul, ISIL’s last bastion in northern Iraq.
Turkey has a longstanding military training mission at the nearby Camp Bashiqa, where Turkish soldiers have trained both Peshmerga fighters and local tribal volunteers in combat techniques.
In recent months, the mission’s presence in northern Iraq has led to a degree of tension between Baghdad and Ankara amid calls by some Iraqi lawmakers for Turkish troops to withdraw from the area.
Last month, the Iraqi army -- backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes -- launched a wide-ranging operation aimed at retaking Mosul.
In mid-2014, ISIL captured Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, before overrunning vast swathes of territory in the country’s north and west.
Recent months have seen the Iraqi army, backed by local allies on the ground and the U.S.-led air coalition, retake much territory, especially on Mosul’s outskirts and in Iraq’s western Anbar province.Last Mod: 08 Kasım 2016, 16:58