The Iraqi military and the Kurdish Peshmerga said their forces have driven the Islamic State from Jurf al Sahkar south of Baghdad and the town of Zumar northwest of Mosul over the weekend. The two towns have changed hands several times over the past few months.

The Iraqi military, backed by Iranian-supported Shiite militias, claimed to have cleared the Islamic State from Jurf al Sahkar, a contested town in northern Babil province, on Oct. 25 after heavy fighting. Iraqi officials said that 300 Islamic State fighters and 67 soldiers and Shiite militiamen were killed, according to Reuters. Islamic State fighters are said to have withdrawn to nearby towns.

Farther north, near Mosul and Sinjar, Kurdish forces, backed by US airstrikes, wrested control of Zumar and two nearby towns from the Islamic State yesterday. US Central command launched 10 airstrikes “west of the Mosul Dam” and hit “four small ISIL [Islamic State] units, one large ISIL unit, destroyed an ISIL building, six ISIL fighting positions and four ISIL staging locations.” […]