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Kurds prepare for counteroffensive as US strikes IS

US airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) have boosted the morale of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces that are getting ready for a counteroffensive to regain lost territory.
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MAKHMOUR, Iraq — As US warplanes are launching rounds of airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) targets in northern Iraq, Kurdish peshmerga armed forces appear to be gradually preparing to launch counteroffensives to regain areas they conceded to the jihadist group.

Since Aug. 2, IS militants made forays into the peshmerga-controlled territories of the Ninevah plains, seizing control of the key areas of Sinjar, Zummar and Wana in western Ninevah, and moving into the towns of Hamdaiya, Telkayf, Bartalla and Bashiqa on the north and east of Mosul. IS also made gains in Makhmour and Gwer, roughly 50 kilometers (31 miles) southwest of Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital city, Erbil. As of Aug. 10, Gwer had returned to peshmerga control.

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