Iraq forces in major offensive on IS-held town

Iraqi pro-government forces and Shiite fighters from the Popular Mobilisation units hold position in Kirkuk on April 30, 2016 as they launch an operation to retake the town of al-BashirIraqi forces launched a final assault Saturday to retake the Turkmen majority town of Bashir from the Islamic State jihadist group, Kurdish authorities said. Pressure for an operation to retake the town had grown in March after IS launched a chemical attack from Bashir on the nearby town of Taza that killed at least three children. “Bashir village is surrounded and 80 percent has been cleared,” the Kurdistan Region Security Council said on social media.

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