Amerli Liberated (With the help of Iran): A Turning Point for Iraqi Forces
The confirmation to cross the lines of the trenches and bunkers of the Islamic State was given around 14.00hrs. "Let’s go, the assault is broken. Our patrols are detonating the mines. The Snipers have retreated. The road to Amerli is safe, and Turkmen await us. Yallah, we can go" says Shallal Abdal, the governor of Tuz Khurmatu, a town that for 81 days served as the outpost for Kurdish soldiers in front of the jihadist brigades. No man’s land is just a couple of miles ahead, were tall pillars of smoke can be seen. The plain is marked by mounds of loose soil, fuel stains and burned vehicles. On the Asphalt battle wrecks and explosion craters can be seen. To the side of the road, some men are burying the driver of a small car gutted by heavy machine guns. "He was shot while running away," says one of the guards.
Every four or five minutes, jeeps full of armed youths wave Kalashnikov and grenade launchers in sign of victory. Many shoot in the air in praise of Allah and the Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki. The flags and green inscriptions on black bandanas reveal that they are fighters of the ‘Badr Brigades’, along with ‘Sadrists’, and volunteers of the ‘Hezbollah’ which is the militia of southern Iraq. But one can ask where were these militias during all these days? Why did they need American assistance in the past 48 hours to liberate Amerli? The Governor responds that "The terrorists of the Islamic State are great fighters, ready to die and have good weapons”.
Today is for the Kurdish an important day. The freeing of Amerli marks an important turning point after the striking victories of the Sunni extremists in the past three months. "Now we can organise ourselves to free Mosul and then towards Tikrit" exclaims an enthusiastic Degali Hassan, 50, the Peshmerga colonel who has the task of ensuring that the enemy does not attempt sudden raids. This military achievement of the war has given the Kurdish a new hope to defeat the evil, that is ISIS.