Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are advancing into the far north of Iraq, along the Syrian border, and are pushing from the key city of Zumar south into Sinjar, an offensive with huge implications for the region.
The region around Zumar is extremely oil-rich, and would be an important part of the oil wealth of an eventual independent Kurdish state. Control of Zumar also gives them a border with the last remnants of Syrian Kurdistan.
Perhaps more importantly in the near term, the push into Sinjar would allow the Peshmerga to effective surround Mosul in three directions, and would leave the city, ISIS’ largest, reliant solely on the southern highway for supplies.
Publicly, the push is likely to be couched entirely as chasing ISIS out of Yazidi territory around Sinjar, as once again Kurdish officials are presenting the idea “thousands of Yazidis remain trapped” on Mount Sinjar. The reality, of course, is that a lot of Yazidis live on Mount Sinjar.
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