Updates from Iraqi Kurdistan August 13-14

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*August 13th, 9:27 PM, Southern Kurdistan time:

IS militants seize control of Mosul dam, Iraq’s largest one, after Peshmerga forces withdraw.

IS militants return to the dam with a convoy of vehicles, weapons, and supplies, and are 20 km from Peshmerga forces. Source

-Kurds Protest against IS in London. “Stop killing Christians in Mosul”: A reverberating testament to the nature of the Kurdish people — that is, a strong belief in equality regardless of political, social, racial, religious and other forms of segregation. Source

– California Kurds Condemn IS, Call for More Western Support. Source

*August 13th, 10:46 PM, Southern Kurdish time:

PKR Massoud Barzani visits YPG and PKK guerrilla. Source

*August 13th, 11:58 AM, Southern Kurdish time: 

Squad of US Marines touchdown in mount Shengal (Sinjar), in order to ‘stabilize’ the area, and clear of IS militants. 

A report (after the operative) will be addressed by US president.

“US troops land on Iraq’s Mt Sinjar to plan for Yazidi evacuation.” Source

-According to Rudaw, YPG and PKK threatened the Peshmerga and specialized US marines on Mount Sinjar, supposedly commanding them to cease their operation against the IS. Rûdaw goes on to say that the US marine unit refused to cooperate with YPG and PKK forces, because they are listed as terrorist groups in the US. (Note: this has not been confirmed by any other sources) Source

Saudi Arabia gives $500 million to UN to assist refugees in mount Sinjar and other areas that have seen a rapid influx of fleeing civilians. Source

-Turkey calls on US to lift Kurdish oil ban. Source

-Girls Raped by IS commit suicide on Mt. Sinjar. Source

*August 14th, 1:08 PM, Southern Kurdistan time:

Abu Bakir Al-Baghdadi, IS leader ‘flees’ to Syria escorted by a fleet of 30 Hummers, in fear of US airstrikes. 

According to Xendan, who gained intel from PDK’s 14th branch, Baghdadi fears US airstrikes on his position, as a number of high-ranked IS members have been killed. Source

-HPG forces deploy 100 fighters to protect Lalish, also known as Lalişa Nûranî, housing the tomb of Şêx Adî, a central figure of Yezidi faith. 

Lalish is to the Yezidis what Mecca is to Muslims. The HPG know this. Source

*August 14th, 5:26 PM, Southern Kurdistan time:

Three-way offensive on IS by a joint operative consisting of the Peshmerga, Garmyan security forces, and the Iraqi air-force in IS-occupied parts of Jalawla. 

The first wave is conducted by Peshmerga forces from the eastern front.

The second, an joint operative by the Peshmerga and Garmyan security forces from the west.

The last strike is initiated by the Iraqi air-force, shelling overhead IS posts and militants. Source

*August 14th, 9:33 PM, Southern Kurdistan time:

The UK has announced (via Guardian) that they will arm Peshmerga forces against The IS. 

According to the Guardian, the UK (along with France) have formally announced their support of Peshmerga, and will soon send in arms (heavy and light weaponry) against the months long battle with the Islamic State.

Reports from Xendan also say that the SAS have worked with other forces (local and external) in an operative in Mount Sinjar. Source

US aircraft watches as IS militants are killed in accidental IED explosion (Video). Source

-UK pledges one month’s worth of water and medication for Yezidi refugee camp. Source

-Kurdistan Regional Government adds $10 million dollars to a refugee fund.

“The Kurdistan Region is currently hosting more than a million refugees, among them Syrian Kurds, Iraqi Arabs, Yezidis and Christians.” Source

*August 15th, approx. 12 AM, Southern Kurdish time: 

Attempt by IS militants to sabotage Yezidi Kurds in Mount Sinjar met by resilience of the Peshmerga, deeming the endeavor unsuccessful, and certainly brutal for the IS. 

The Islamic State militants went through the village of Dwgre to reach Mount Shingal, but Peshmerga forces greeted them with a barrage of attacks, resulting in the death of 20 IS militants, and two charred vehicles (containing light and heavy weaponry). Source

VIDEO: Clearly this is nothing new for Kurds in general, as women have been essential to the PKK and YPG guerrilla, consisting of around 40,000 tactically-trained Kurdish female fighters. 

But when — like FOX News, among others — the media is uninformed, or haven’t been paying attention or believe in Middle-Eastern stereotypes or impose an ‘us-them’ dichotomy (think the west and east, respectively) on groups of people, surely will this be surprising.

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