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U.S.-Backed Kurdish Forces Advance Toward Mosul


Iraqi Kurdish forces say they have retaken five villages east of the Islamic State-held city of Mosul in an operation launched early on August 14.

In a statement, the Kurdish region’s Security Council said U.S.-backed Kurdish forces aim to "clear several more villages" in a bid to increase pressure on the extremist group.

The council's statement said an area of about 50 square kilometers had been cleared. It said the U.S.-led coalition is supporting the operation with airstrikes, one of which destroyed a car bomb.

Peshmerga Brigadier General Dedewan Khurshid Tofiq on August 14 described the operation as "ongoing."

Footage filmed by Rudaw, a local Kurdish-language television network, showed smoke rising from a village, with armored vehicles in the foreground.

Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, was seized by Islamic State in a bloody offensive in mid-2014.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has vowed to recapture the city by the end of this year.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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