Kurdish forces have captured the Iraqi mountain where Yazidi refugees had been stranded since the summer.
The peshmerga fighters took Mount Sinjar from ISIS yesterday with the help of US air strikes on the militants, with 13 in Iraq and three in Syria.
Thousands of Kurdish troops took part in the operation, which began last Wednesday, to liberate regions between the Iraqi city of Mosul and Syria.
Tens of thousands of Yazidis were stranded on the mountain in August with reports of hundreds murdered by the Islamist terror groups. A siege by ISIS was broken and many of the civilians were evacuated by the Iraqi Army, but others remained.
Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani visited the mountain yesterday, saying: “Thanks to God we have opened and controlled all the roads and broken the siege imposed on Sinjar Mountain.
“The liberation of the centre of Sinjar town was not part of our plans, but we have managed to take control of a large area of it.”
Meanwhile a German journalist has managed to get inside the ISIS-occupied city of Mosul, which this Christmas will be without Christians for the first time in 1,800 years.
“There is an awful sense of normalcy in Mosul,” Juergen Todenhoefer CNN. “130,000 Christians have been evicted from the city, the Shia have fled, many people have been murdered and yet the city is functioning and people actually like the stability that the Islamic State has brought them.”
He met numerous foreign fighters, including some from Europe. One told him “We will conquer Europe one day. It is not a question of if we will conquer Europe, just a matter of when that will happen. But it is certain … For us, there is no such thing as borders.”
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