In Mosul, Iraqi security forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters battled Islamic State militants to liberate a strategic city in western Mosul from the extremists.
In Iraq’s Anbar province, a Kurdish-led alliance is trying to reclaim an important strategic district north of Mosul that was once controlled by the militants.
The militants were ousted from their city in June 2014, but since then they have continued to attack government and Kurdish forces and their bases in western Anbar, the province’s capital.
In Mosul, Kurdish forces have advanced and captured the district and its surrounding areas.
The recapture of the district was an important achievement for the Kurdish forces.
The city was once the centre of Anbar’s Sunni Muslim population, who made up about 70% of the population.
In 2016, Anbar was divided into three provinces, which were controlled by different forces.
This has led to the existence of dozens of ethnic, religious and sectarian rivalries, which have contributed to the emergence of a complex social and political structure in Anbar.
In Anbar and neighbouring districts, Kurdish fighters are attempting to recapture areas that were once under IS control.
The Islamic State has been using this area as a base to conduct attacks.
Kurdish forces have also seized the strategic town of Zumar, north of Anadolu, and a military base nearby, as well as the town of al-Ameriyya, which was used as a front line.
The area was the scene of fierce clashes between Kurdish forces in 2016.
On December 13, a group of Kurdish fighters seized the town.
They are still holding the town, and fighting continues in the surrounding area.
On December 22, the Kurdish-dominated Iraqi Security Forces and the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMUs) recaptured al-Nasiriyah, north-west of Mosul, and are advancing on it.PMU forces, which are led by the PMU’s commander, Abu Khaled al-Hakim, have already recaptured parts of the city.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi security apparatus is facing growing pressure to step up its efforts against the Islamic States.
The Iraqi Security forces have been struggling to contain the Islamic extremists for the past several years, but the military situation has worsened due to the withdrawal of US and coalition air strikes, and the rise of the extremist group known as the Islamic Front, which has also increased its activities.
The Iraqi Security apparatus is also facing an increasing number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which were first introduced in the fight against the extremists, but have increased in sophistication and effectiveness.
Iraqi forces are also facing increased casualties and the emergence as the main source of ISIL’s foreign fighters.
The IS group’s foreign operations in Syria and Iraq have led to an increase in its foreign fighters, including young men from the West, who have travelled to join ISIL in Syria.
The United States and its allies, led by France and Britain, have made significant efforts to disrupt ISIL’s activities, but it has also provided logistical support and other support to ISIL in its operations in Iraq and Syria.