Iraqi Kurdish forces on Saturday retook the northern town of Zumar from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists after weeks of fighting, a senior officer said.
“After clashes that began this morning and with American air support, we were able to force (IS) militants from the centre” of Zumar and 11 surrounding villages, Major General Karim Atuti of the peshmerga security forces told AFP.
Zumar is located some 60 kilometres (36 miles) northwest of Mosul, the first city to fall in an IS offensive in June.
Federal troops withdrew from Zumar, and peshmerga forces occupied it. But IS drove them out during a new campaign in August, pushing them back toward regional capital Arbil.
That helped to spark an US-led air campaign in Iraq that now involves several countries and has been expanded to Syria.
Kurdish forces have since regained some ground, but it has been slow going, and IS still holds significant areas in northern Iraq and elsewhere in the country.
Despite heavy fighting still ahead in Iraq, the Kurds plan to deploy up to 200 peshmerga to help defend Kobane in neighbouring Syria, a Kurdish border town under assault by IS.