Peshmerga-YPG in Joint Attack on Militants

By RUDAW 3 hours ago – 5-8-2014 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Peshmerga officials reported Tuesday that their forces had retaken the village of Mahmoudia near the Rabia border crossing on the Syrian border. A Rudaw reporter in the area said that the Peshmerga and the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) are coordinating the attacks against the Islamic State (IS/ISIS).

Earlier in the day fighter jets bombed the center of Rabia, with a Peshmerga official saying he believed it was carried out by American jets.A high-level US official told Rudaw this week that the United States has offered the Kurds air support and military expertise in their fight against IS.Mahmoudia fell to the Islamic militants on Monday evening after the Peshmerga said they had made “a tactical withdrawal.”

Heval Xurshid, a YPG officer who attended a meeting with the Peshmerga told Rudaw: “We have agreed with the Peshmerga not to stop until we have reached the center of Rabia.”The YPG are Kurdish fighters from Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), which shares borders with the Kurdistan Region, and have been fighting IS for the past two years.IS, previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has declared an Islamic Caliphate over captured territories in both countries, with the Syrian city of Raqqah as the capital. Rabia is one of Iraq’s most important border crossings, connecting Iraq and Syria. The border fell to the IS in June after the withdrawal of Iraqi troops. The Peshmerga forces have already taken six villages from IS militants.The joint Kurdish forces are now concentrated at Qahira village, 10 kilometers from the heart of Rabia. Peshmerga officials said that Mahmoudia and Chilbarat are the only two villages left under IS control.