SHANGAL—Kurdish Peshmerga forces have entered Shangal, said military officials, and they have cornered militants of the Islamic State in parts of the town.
Rudaw reporter in the area said that units from the 10,000-strong Peshmarga force who had encircled the town earlier in the day are now in the town center and try to rout the Islamic militants.
The Peshmerga were able to enter Shangal following a heavy bombardment of the Rahman and Nasir sectors where the militants had taken position.
Meanwhile, a large Peshmerga forces have made their way to the Shangal mountainside where thousands of Yezidi families have taken shelter.
Rudaw reporter says that the Peshmerga have made progress in their counteroffensive near Zumar where they intend to cut off the IS militants from retreating into Syria.
The IS are said to have demolished the Zumar bridge in anticipation of the Peshmerga advance.
The Kurdish forces went on the offensive on Sunday after Islamic militants captured Shangal 200 kilometers west of Erbil.
“We decided to go on the offensive and fight the terrorists to the last breath,” said Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani Monday afternoon. “We have ordered the Peshmerga to attack the terrorists and enemies of Kurdistan with all their power.”
Barzani said that the Kurdish forces “will not relinquish an inch of Kurdistan and we will defend our dear Yezidi brothers and sisters.”
Earlier in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the Iraqi air force to assist the Peshmerga in their fight against the IS militants.
According to Rudaw reporter in the region, Iraqi jets bombed militant positions in Shangal and Zumar today.
Unofficial sources told Rudaw that members of the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) have joined the Peshmerga fight against the Islamic militants. Ten Kurdish volunteer fighters were also reported to have reached Shangal from Turkey.