Kurdish forces broke a months-long siege on Mount Shingal on Thursday and freed the main road that connects the area to the Kurdistan Region in a major operation against the Islamic State (ISIS) that has lasted two days, said Kurdish security council chief.
“Peshmerga forces were able to connect with their brothers on Mount Shingal today after launching a military operation that started from Zumar area yesterday,” said Masrour Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Region Security Council in a press conference on the front lines west of the Tigris River.
“The operation was a success and now we can evacuate the people on the Mountain to safer places if they desired and we will try to clear the whole area completely of the ISIS,” he added.
Barzani said that in the past two days more than 700 square kilometers have been liberated by the Peshmerga and that ISIS militants are now isolated and surrounded West of Mosul.
“We give this news to the people of Kurdistan and the world that the enemies of Kurdistan, the enemies of humanity and coexistence have faced a major defeat,” Barzani told reporters.
“Peshmerga’s love for the country, for peace and humanity is far more greater than the message of ISIS which is nothing but killing and destruction,” he added.
Barzani said that coalition fighter jets played an effective role in the operation against ISIS by bombing the radical group’s positions across the region.
“The operation was militarily and strategically a great success, a vast area of Kurdistan was liberated,” he said.
Kurdistan’s security chief said that following the liberation of the area the local population can return to their homes, “but we suggest they wait a little longer in order to clear the mines and explosives planted in the area. This is for their own safety.”
“On the other hand, people who supported or took the same position as ISIS will be responsible for their actions and the future they have chosen,” he warned.
The national security chief said that the Peshmerga were the only force in the operations and that neither the Iraqi government nor any other force played any role.