Kurdish forces move to retake parts of Mosul Dam

BY Xander Landen  August 17, 2014 at 6:49 PM EST

With the aid of U.S. airstrikes, on Sunday, Kurdish forces were able to regain partial control of the Mosul Dam which Islamic State extremists captured nearly two weeks ago.

In early August, Islamic State forces moved into Kurdish territory in Northern Iraq and captured a border crossing and the Mosul Dam, as well as villages populated by an Iraqi religious minority, the Yazidis.

The U.S. began its campaign against Islamic State forces on Aug. 8, to prevent the extremist group from taking the city of Irbil and protect Yazidis from violence.

On Sunday, the U.S. deployed a wider array of military aircraft than in past offensives on the Islamic State, including land-based bombers, fighter jets, attack planes and unmanned drones.

The airstrikes destroyed 10 armed vehicles, seven Humvees, two armored personnel carriers and one checkpoint belonging to the Islamic State, according to the AP.

The offensive allowed Kurdish forces, known as the peshmerga, to push Islamic State forces eastward and retake towns including Tel Kasouf.

“The west is in control of peshmerga. But there are some battles taking place in the (east) right now,”  Halgurd Hekmat, a peshmerga spokesman told the AP.