Iraq air force backs Kurds against jihadists


BAGHDAD: Baghdad’s air force and Kurdish fighters from Syria joined forces with Iraq’s embattled peshmerga on Monday to push back jihadists whose latest attacks sent thousands of civilians running for their lives. The Islamic State, or IS, raised its black flag in Sinjar on Sunday after ousting the peshmerga troops of Iraq’s Kurdish government, forcing thousands of people from their homes. The conquest of Sinjar and several other towns at the weekend threatened to further integrate the Iraqi and Syrian halves of the “caliphate” IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed in June. But the peshmerga declared they were mounting a counter-offensive and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Monday ordered the air force to provide them support.



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