Civilians flee villages outside Mosul the day after Iraqi Kurdish forces launch an operation east of the Islamic State-held city in Iraq on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Susannah George)
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A small unit of Kurdish peshmerga forces huddled in an abandoned home on the edge of Qarqashah, one of a dozen villages east of the Iraqi city of Mosul that the peshmerga captured from Daesh (ISIS) this week.Like almost all of the villages retaken this week, Qarqashah is small and was almost entirely empty of civilians.In Qarqashah village alone, peshmerga commanders estimated they lost 10 men. Maj. Gen. Hama Rasheed sat on a plastic chair inside the simple home his men were using as a base. Tofiq added that a bridge, taken Monday and leading to southeastern Mosul, could facilitate a troop buildup along an eastern Mosul front once it is repaired.The deadliest attack occurred Monday near the town of Al-Rutbah in the western province of Anbar, where militants fired mortar rounds on army troops, killing an officer, seven soldiers and a civilian, the Joint Military Operation Command said in a statement.At Kalak base, from where the offensive was launched, peshmerga reservists were arriving in civilian cars Monday to reinforce troops at the front.
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