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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/4/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Iraqi airpower will support Kurdish offensive against Islamic militants in Iraq

Fighters from the recently formed Islamic Caliphate in Iraq have taken control of Iraq's biggest dam, an oilfield and three towns after their first clash with Kurdish forces in northern Iraq.

Kurdish fighters have engaged militants belonging to the new Islamic State after watching the fighting for nearly four months.

Kurdish fighters have engaged militants belonging to the new Islamic State after watching the fighting for nearly four months.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/4/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: International, Middle East, Iraq


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The August 3 gains marks the first round of fighting between the Caliphate and the Kurds who had remained-for the most part-neutral in the Iraqi civil war until now.

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A 24 hour offensive resulted in the capture of the electricity-generating Mosul Dam, which could also give the Caliphate the ability to flood major Iraqi cities or withhold water from farms, a massive boost in their attempt to overthrow the Shi'ite-led Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

"The terrorist gangs of the Islamic State have taken control of Mosul Dam after the withdrawal of Kurdish forces without a fight," said Iraqi state television.

A Kurdish official in Washington denied this claim, instead stating that the dam was still under control of Kurdish forces, though towns nearby had been taken by Islamic State forces.

"The situation has taken a turn for the worse over the weekend," said Karwan Zebari, an official from the Kurdistan Regional Government's office..

The Islamic State, which seeks to destroy Iraq's majority Shi'ites, also seized three towns and the Ain Zalah oilfield, adding up to seven towns under their control in the region.

Reports indicate that a strong Kurdish resistance was quickly overwhelmed during the Islamists offensive to take the town of Zumar.

Good news did come out of Iraq, as it seems this offensive by the Caliphate has been the catalyst required to form a unified front between the Iraqi government and the Kurds. Maliki authorized air support for Kurdish forces, as the Kurds get ready to launch a counter-offensive to retake the towns and dam that had been taken over.

Maliki ordered the air force to support this operation, in the first pledge of air power to the semi-autonomous government in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

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