Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces have secured a strategic river crossing point, allowing them to open a new front against Daesh and further tighten the noose around terrorists holed up in Mosul.
On Monday, the Kurdish forces reached Kanhash on the western side of the Gwer bridge which spans the Grand Zab river and the southeast of Mosul.
The bridge was damaged by the Takfiris some two years ago when Mosul fell into the hands of the terrorists in June 2014. Repairing it will grant the Kurdish and other anti-Daesh forces further access towards Mosul.
"Control over Kanhash Heights give the Peshmerga strategic advantage over nearby enemy positions and the main road linking Mosul," said head of the Kurdistan Region Security Council Masrour Barzani.
“This successful operation will tighten the grip around Daesh’s stronghold Mosul," he added.
Kurdish officials also noted that during the operation some 150 square kilometers of land was retaken from the terrorists.
Reaching the bridge was part of an offensive which began on Sunday, during which the Peshmerga managed to establish full control over several villages in the region.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists mounted their offensive in June 2014. The militants have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.
The Iraqi army and fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have been engaged in joint operations to retake militant-held regions.
Hundreds of Iraqi families have been fleeing southern Mosul as army soldiers and fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units are taking up positions around the city, which is located some 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of the capital Baghdad.