Coalition airstrikes are supporting a major Peshmerga offensive operation in northwestern Iraq, according to a Pentagon media report released on Thursday.
During “Operation Free Sinjar” the Peshmerga intend to clear Sinjar of Da’ish — an Arabic acronym for ISIS — terrorists from the town and seize portions of Highway 47, a significant terrorist supply route between Ar Raqqah, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq.
By controlling Highway 47, which is used by ISIS to transport weapons, fighters, illicit oil, and other commodities that fund their operations, the coalition intends to increase pressure on the terrorists and isolate their components from each other.
Coalition aircraft have conducted more than 250 airstrikes over the past month across northern Iraq. Strikes destroyed ISIS fighting positions, command-and-control facilities, weapon storage facilities, bomb-making factories, and staging areas.
The ground assault began early today, when Peshmerga units successfully established blocking positions along Highway 47 and began clearing Sinjar. The Peshmerga will continue operations to re-establish government control over key portions of the area.
“The Iraqi security forces, including the Peshmerga, continue to put pressure on Da’ish across Iraq, including in Ramadi, Beiji, and now Sinjar and along Highway 47,” said Army Col. Christopher C. Garver, Combined Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve public affairs officer. “This operation will degrade Da’ish’s resupply efforts, disrupt funding to the terrorist group’s operations, stem the flow of Da’ish fighters into Iraq, and further isolate Mosul from Ar Raqqah.”
Coalition airstrikes will continue to target ISIS’s leaders, revenue sources, supply routes, command facilities, and weapons caches to dismantle their operations in Iraq and Syria.