BEIRUT

Middle East

ISIS threatens Kurds after battlefield victories

A member of the Kurdish peshmerga monitors through a pair of binoculars activities ongoing at an area controlled by Sunni radical group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) in the town of Suleiman Bek in Salahuddin Province June 26, 2014. (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)

BAGHDAD: The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) warned Monday it would seek to further expand into autonomous Kurdish territory after claiming key towns and areas over the past 48 hours.

"ISIS brigades have now reached the border triangle between Iraq, Syria and Turkey. May God Almighty allow his mujahideen to liberate the whole region," it said in a statement.

The jihadist group listed the gains achieved over the weekend in what was its most significant territorial push since first sweeping across Iraq nearly two months ago.

It seized the large town of Sinjar Sunday, as well as two others in the same area. It took the town of Zumar the previous day and is now threatening Mosul dam, the country's largest.

"The mujahideen conquered several areas controlled by secular Kurdish gangs and militias," said the statement, issued by ISIS' branch in the northwestern Iraqi province of Ninevah.

"In a day-long series of battles involving a variety of weapons... the apostate enemies were humiliated, dozens were killed and wounded and hundreds fled."

The Kurdish government has not provided casualty figures nor commented on reports that several Kurdish peshmerga fighters were captured.

The areas ISIS fighters took were regions the peshmerga moved into in the initial chaos that saw government soldiers retreat in the face of the jihadist offensive launched on June 9.

The latest fighting in Ninevah province means that the peshmerga have largely pulled back to the old borders of their autonomous region.

It also allows the ISIS men to move easily between Iraq's second city of Mosul, which they overran on June 10, and the Syrian border.

 

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Summary

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) warned Monday it would seek to further expand into autonomous Kurdish territory after claiming key towns and areas over the past 48 hours.

The areas ISIS fighters took were regions the peshmerga moved into in the initial chaos that saw government soldiers retreat in the face of the jihadist offensive launched on June 9 .

It also allows the ISIS men to move easily between Iraq's second city of Mosul, which they overran on June 10, and the Syrian border.


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