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Kurdish forces swept forward in the wake of attacks by US fighter jets on Islamic State positions south of Erbil.
Bodies of Islamic State jihadists, mangled and broken, lay near their burned out, machine-gun mounted pickup trucks as The Telegraph followed Kurdish Peshmerga forces into the IS-held town of Gwer on Sunday afternoon.
The attack on Gwer by the Peshmerga followed direct co-ordination with the Americans, Kurdish ground troops said. They had been told to prepare for an attack at 5am. Some skirmishes followed – the tactics were not clear, but may have been an attempt to draw the jihadists into the open.
Then, between 9 and 10am, the fighter jets struck. “I was standing on the bridge over there when they came in,” said Shedzah Kakarosh, a Peshmerga fighter. Next to him smoked the shell of a truck, the mount of its heavy machine-gun smoking on its base behind him, which he said he saw being hit by a jet-fired missile.
President Barack Obama authorised strikes after the Islamic State seized Christian and Yazidi towns villages in the north of the country last week, killing or driving out their inhabitants, and then took up positions within 30 miles of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish Autonomous Region.
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