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Iran-backed IMIS advances toward Syria border

Iran-backed IMIS advances toward Syria border

Iran-backed IMIS said on Sunday it had dislodged ISIS from a number of villages west of Mosul, scoring further progress toward the border with Syria, Reuters reported on Monday.

The villages taken by the IMIS include Kojo, where ISIS fighters abducted hundreds of Yazidi women in 2014, including Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar, recipients of the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought.

Kojo and the other villages of the Sinjar mountain region will be returned to the Yazidi community, an IMIS leader, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, said.   


IMIS are taking part in the USbacked Iraqi campaign to defeat ISIS in Mosul and the surrounding province of Nineveh. The force reports nominally to Iraq's Shiite-led government and has Iranian military advisers.


Iraq's government is aiming to control the border area with Syria in coordination with the Iranian-backed army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


Linking up the two sides would give Assad a significant advantage in fighting the six-year rebellion against his rule.


The region immediately alongside the border on the Iraqi side is either under the control of ISIS or Kurdish forces. ISIS also controls parts of Syria.

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