Finally a break in their stranglehold.

The past 48 hours have seen some significant developments in the growing push-back against the jihadist forces of Islamic State. With no air force of its own, Islamic State has found its newly acquired vehicles and military hardware to be vulnerable to precision missile strikes by US aircraft. It’s now moving them into residential areas.
At the same time but without any apparent coordination, Syria has also reportedly carried out air strikes on Islamic State militants around their base in Raqqa. This could be a cynical move by President Assad to try to show he is on the same side as the Americans against extremism.

Kurdish forces ‘break IS hold on Mosul dam’

The BBC’s Paul Wood met with civilians who have had their lives destroyed by the crisis

Kurdish forces in northern Iraq are in near complete control of Iraq’s largest dam after ousting Islamic State (IS) militants, Kurdish officials say.

A Kurdish peshmerga fighter prepares his weapon at his combat position near the Mosul Dam at the town of Chamibarakat outside Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, Aug 17

Ground forces supported by US air strikes launched the operation to take Mosul dam on Sunday morning.

Kurdish sources said they were still trying to clear mines and booby traps from the area round the dam, a process which could take several hours.

The strategically important facility was seized by IS militants on 7 August.

It supplies water and electricity to northern Iraq and there had been fears the IS militants could use it to flood areas downstream.

Kurdish troops are fighting with US air support
Smoke rises from the direction of Mosul dam, Iraq, 17 AugustSmoke rises from the direction of Mosul dam

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