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Kurds advance on key Iraq dam, Sunnis hit jihadists

Published on Aug 18, 2014 8:07 AM
 
A Peshmerga soldier looks through binoculars from a position as he looks across a canal toward Islamist Jihadist positions on August 17, 2014, south of the oil hub city of Kirkuk. Kurdish fighters backed by US warplanes pushed back jihadists around Iraq's largest dam on Sunday, as Sunni Arab tribesmen and security forces fought the militants west of Baghdad. -- PHOTO: AFP

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Kurdish fighters backed by US warplanes pushed back jihadists around Iraq's largest dam on Sunday, as Sunni Arab tribesmen and security forces fought the militants west of Baghdad.

Two months of violence have brought Iraq to the brink of breakup, and world powers relieved by the exit of divisive premier Nuri al-Maliki were sending aid to the hundreds of thousands who have fled their homes as well as arms to the Kurds.

Kurdish fighters were advancing on Mosul dam, which the Islamic State (IS) fighters seized a week ago, but their progress was being hampered by roadside bombs, Kurdish officials said.

The dam on the Tigris river north of Iraq's second city provides electricity and irrigation water for farming to much of the region.

 
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