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American forces raid Islamic State hideouts on Qarachogh mountain: witnesses

Early Sunday morning a fight ensued on the Qarachogh Mountain, commonly attacked by ISIS. American forces entered with warplanes and helicopters at approximately 7 am, to surround the intended target, ISIS members. Witnesses claim there were around 200 soldiers fighting, some of which were Americans. Intense fighting ensued after American soldiers descended from their helicopters on the mountain. Warplanes bombed three well-known ISIS hideouts while fire continued from four helicopter gunships. Ghazi Faysal, a member of a 15-man Peshmerga group protecting the village of Ali Rash, confirms that five ISIS were killed.

Qarachogh Mountain became a safe haven for hundreds of ISIS state fighters as their control of the Nineveh plains came to an end in 2017. ISIS militants have been able to gain control within the land disputes between the Iraqi Army and Peshmerga over territorial boundaries. Kurdish officials continually warn others about the reemergence of ISIS in Makhmour because they experience similar territorial disputes in Erbil and the federal government in Baghdad. Previous efforts to root out ISIS in the mountain have failed, despite consistent efforts by Kurdish, Iraqi security and US assistance. ISIS commonly targets those of families who choose not to cooperate often displacing families. Residents in these areas fear ISIS and desperately want them gone after crop field arsons and attacks on refugee camps. The United States continues to back Kurdish efforts to remove ISIS’s control and residency from their areas.

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OODA Analyst

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