World Bulletin / News Desk
The Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces launched a much-awaited offensive late Sunday to retake Mosul – the last ISIL stronghold in northern Iraq, which was overrun by the extremist group in 2014.
According to the Anadolu Agency correspondent at Khazir front, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Mosul, Peshmerga fighters were mounting drones inside mobile booths with the help of U.S. volunteer soldiers.
A U.S. soldier who wished to remain anonymous said they were training Peshmerga fighters about how to use the U.S.-made drones.
Peshmerga fighters, for their part, say the drones have been helpful in detecting the movement of ISIL extremists inside 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. Nevertheless, the extremist group remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.
In recent weeks, the army and its allies have staged a gradual advance on Mosul, which officials in Baghdad have vowed to "liberate" by year’s end.