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Iraqi Kurds assault IS positions as Obama vows support

A Peshmerga fighter flashes a victory sign next to the remains of a car, bearing an image of the trademark jihadist flag, which reportedly belonged to Islamic State (IS) militants north of Mosul, on August 18, 2014Kurdish fighters, backed by Iraqi forces and a new wave of US air strikes, pressed their offensive against jihadist rebels as President Barack Obama urged a joint counterterrorism effort. Securing the dam was the biggest prize yet clawed back from the so-called “Islamic State” since it launched a major offensive in northern Iraq in June, sweeping aside Iraqi security forces. Obama said that Iraq’s new premier Haidar al-Abadi should rush to build an inclusive government to undercut support for extremists and underpin international action against the Islamic State. In Iraq, “the planes are striking and the peshmerga are advancing,” a Kurdish fighter told AFP near the shore of the lake formed by the vast Mosul dam.

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