Iraqi forces backed by Iranian-allied militias began an assault Thursday to reclaim more Kurdish-held territory in Iraq, advancing toward a crossing in the western border region that provides the only access for U.S. military operations in northern Syria.
Confirming the multiple previous mentions here that the US has been transporting it’s implements of terrorism into northern Syria via Iraq in territory held by Kurds, most probably held by PKK and/or some of their affiliates.
A protracted fight over border crossings could severely disrupt U.S. military activity in neighbouring Syria
It also could (that claim is contradicted further into the article) strain the ability of aid organizations to provide desperately needed supplies to the nearly 300,000 civilians who fled fighting in the Syrian city of Raqqa,
The clashes signal that Baghdad is determined to follow through on its goal of exerting full control over all of Iraq’s borders, including those crossings in the north
The combined federal police and militia forces set out at dawn from the town of Zumar, north of Mosul. The plan appeared to be to gain control of the Fishkhabour border crossing from Kurdish fighters, known as peshmerga
Keep in mind that peshmerga is the generic name for the kurdish militias. Who these specific peshmerga are is not mentioned. Peshmerga means those who face death... more or less
Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the U.S.-led international coalition against the Islamic State, said the fighting has hampered its efforts to defeat the group, citing the inability to move military equipment and supplies to allied (Kurdish PKK/YPG/SDF ) forces in Iraq and Syria.
Dillon said that the majority of the flights carrying humanitarian supplies into Syria have not been disrupted but that the transport of heavy military equipment that cannot be flown in has. This stems from an inability to coordinate with Iraqi and peshmerga senior officers, who have been unavailable because of the ongoing fighting, Dillon said.
Abadi said he would not accept anything less than a full annulment of the Kurdish referendum.
If Fishkhabour falls to those militias, it would be a “grievous blow” to the United States’ Syria policy, said Nicholas Heras of the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank.
“Fishkhabour is more than just a border gate: It is the essential doorway for long-term American influence in Syria. And Iran wants to slam that gate shut,” he said.
From earlier today: