Kurds, heading into the teeth of isis, open a new front – the new york times

NEAR NAWARAN, Iraq — The sounds of battle north of Mosul on Thursday morning told the story of how Islamic State fighters had chosen to meet a new Kurdish assault: the eruptions of suicide car bombs and roadside mines.

Grim-faced, a group of Kurdish troops moved to meet the ambulances and gun-laden pickup trucks as they bore the casualties back from the fight at midday.

Blood stained the sand near their front-line aid station, and a medevac helicopter touched down on the highway back to Dohuk, ready to take the most grievously hurt to treatment there. A insurance direct One Kurdish fighter was so desperate to get his injured comrade through the snarl of military traffic that he began to fire shots into the air. Auto direct car insurance review uk Continue reading the main story

Commanders said the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, were heavily contesting the assault, driving vehicle bombs at the Kurds and fighting for each village on the way.

“Daesh is still inside the villages, and they are going to resist more,” said one commander, Brig.

Direct insurance locations Gen. Direct choice car insurance Ismail Kamal. Direct insurance group “They don’t have large numbers, but they are an ideological group and they aim to explode themselves and die. Direct auto insurance locations That’s our problem.”

Before dawn broke, the American air support began softening up the resistance. One direct car insurance contact number A United States Special Operations AC-130 gunship was circling overhead, and pounding blasts could be heard in the distance.

One young Kurdish fighter said he had been in touch with residents in his hometown, Fazeliya, one of the villages the pesh merga intended to surround and then clear. Direct auto insurance contact number Islamic State militants, he said, had sought to frighten the villagers from aiding the Kurdish assault by taking hostage 16 men whose relatives serve in the pesh merga. Auto direct car insurance The hostages would be killed, the Islamic State had warned, it the pesh merga attacked. 1 direct insurance Continue reading the main story

As the Kurdish forces moved on a ridge overlooking the villages early in the morning, a sudden flurry of assault rifle fire broke out and quickly built up. Canadian direct insurance vancouver bc It was an uncommonly intense fusillade, but it was not an ambush from below: It was the Kurds swinging their rifles skyward to blast a small Islamic State surveillance drone. Online direct insurance After a minute, the aircraft came tumbling down.

After making a cut in the sand berm that served as the Kurds’ fortified border with Islamic State territory the past two years, a column of pesh merga tanks, armored vehicles and sport utility vehicles advanced. Canadian direct insurance reviews At first, the move was upbeat; several Kurdish soldiers were taking photographs of themselves on the ridge.

The Kurdish flag was raised in Nawaran, the first village, but resistance in the next town, Borima, was much stiffer. Direct insurance contact After several firefights, the Kurds called in a thunderous artillery barrage to try to ease the way.

In the distance, a bloodier drama was playing out. Direct auto insurance careers A couple of suicide car bombs hurtled toward the Kurdish fighters from Fazeliya. Doctors direct insurance The pesh merga fired to disable them, but at least one of the trucks got close enough that its explosion wounded several pesh merga fighters, ripping the legs off one of them.

The Kurds said that they had intercepted communications in which Islamic State commanders were exhorting their fighters to resist to the death. Phone number for direct auto insurance Frequently, the militants were hiding until the pesh merga fighters entered a town to clear it, suddenly popping out of their sanctuaries to attack the Kurds with gunfire or possibly explosive belts.

Marveling at the Islamic State fighters’ seeming ability to emerge out of nowhere, some pesh merga wondered if they had dug tunnels that connected the villages. M direct insurance Video Kurdish Forces Attack Mosul From North

For all that, the vast majority of the Kurdish casualties were the result of improvised explosive devices — the Americans call them I.E.D.’s, the Kurds say T.N.T.’s — and car bombs, commanders said.

The pesh merga did not officially release their list of casualties. Direct insurance tennessee But among pesh merga commanders and soldiers, word of the toll had spread: about a dozen pesh merga had been killed and many more wounded.

As the frustration with the operation mounted, one senior Kurdish official complained that the Americans had not provided nearly as many airstrikes as the pesh merga had expected, a criticism that may have reflected the need to simultaneously provide air cover for the Iraqi counterterrorism service assault. One quote direct car insurance “We didn’t get anything like what we were promised,” said the Kurdish official, who was granted anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Col. Auto direct insurance services John I. Canadian insurance direct Dorrian, spokesman for the United States-led military coalition, insisted it would continue to cooperate with the Iraqis and the Kurds. Direct auto insurance headquarters “Coalition air power is certainly in demand, and we try to provide fires in a timely fashion when called upon,” he said. Nevada direct insurance company “Given the size and scope of the operation to liberate Mosul, there may be times when we are unable to fully meet the demand as quickly as forces on the ground would like.”

A photographer for The New York Times, Bryan Denton, was among those wounded when a vehicle bomb exploded near a unit of the Iraqi counterterrorism force east of Mosul on Thursday. Dial direct online insurance quote He was taken to a hospital in Iraqi Kurdistan with cuts and bruises, and was in good condition.

Earlier in the day, the Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, was optimistic about the offensive as he spoke by video link to a group of diplomats in Paris who were discussing the future of Mosul. Direct life insurance company He told the officials that the assault force — made up of Iraqi security forces, Shiite and Sunni militia fighters and Kurdish forces — was pushing toward Mosul “more quickly than we thought and more quickly than we had programmed.”

But on the battlefield, the pesh merga’s advance had slowed. Direct auto insurance no credit check General Kamal said that two or three more days would probably still be needed to clear the villages, but by evening, as the day’s toll was becoming clear, the mood among the pesh merga seemed more grimly determined than celebratory.

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