With the airstrikes by the U.S. starting to show effects out on the battlefield, Kurdish forces have counterattacked militants in the northern region of Iraq taking back control of two towns that are very strategic thanks to help from the air.
The airstrikes by the U.S., carried out by fighter jets and drones were intended to help the Kurdish forces in defense of Erbil the Iraqi Kurdistan region’s capital, according to a U.S. command statement.
The airstrikes destroyed three vehicles that Islamic State the militant group were using and damaged a number of others, said U.S. Command headquarters.
The wreckage of the three heavily armed vehicles was left by the Islamic State in Gwer, one of the towns recaptured by the Kurds, just hours after the airstrikes.
Kurdish militiamen, referred to as peshmerga, said they had seen the airstrikes and were celebrating on Sunday afternoon near the wrecked vehicles that were still smoldering.
The air support from the U.S. encouraged the militiamen from Kurdish forces to reverse momentum of the fighting and take back Gwer and Mahmour, but located within a drive of 30 minutes from Erbil.
Kurdish authorities said other peshmerga fighters had pushed on past the two retaken towns, which are on the border between the Kurdish and Arab areas of Iraq.
The new developments came as the political tensions in Baghdad started to mount.
Nouri al-Maliki the Prime Minister appeared on state TV on Monday and redoubled the demands he has for another term
Air power by the U.S. in northern Iraq appeared as well to alter the Mount Sinjar situation. Members of Yazidi a religious and ethnic minority had been pushed into rough terrain by the Islamic State.
Four airstrikes by the U.S. on the Islamic State militants surrounding Mount Sinjar on Saturday, along with airdrops of supplies, food and water helped the group and their Kurdish fighters to push back the militants and allow thousands of the Yazidis to escape to safety.
Those that escaped went through Syria on Sunday to Fishhaabour, a town on the Iraqi border under control of the Kurds.