MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – Iraqi Kurdish fighters and an influential tribe of Sunnis, known as Shammar, regained control over a territory next to the border with Syria on Wednesday, after pushing back Islamic State (IS) militants, Sky News Arabia reported.
"This is an important strategic area," a political source said as quoted by Sky News Arabia.
On Tuesday, Kurdish fighters reportedly seized the border crossing town of Rabia between Iraq and Syria, captured by IS militants over the summer. Meanwhile Iraq's government troops have regained control over 16 settlements in the Diyala province, northeast of the capital Baghdad, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.
The IS jihadist group, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), launched an offensive in northern and western Iraq in June, subsequently proclaiming a caliphate on all the territories under its control both in Iraq and the neighboring Syria.
In August, the United States started launching airstrikes against IS positions in northern Iraq. Last week, the attacks were extended to Syria, with France and Pentagon's Arab allies taking part.
Britain joined the air campaign Tuesday, carrying out its first strikes against IS extremists in Iraq, though it does not plan to expand its operation into Syria.
US President Barack Obama announced his decision to form an international anti-IS coalition on September 10. Washington also said it would be arming and equipping Kurds, Iraqis and Syria's moderate opposition in an effort to eradicate the IS.