Residents in the Iraqi city of Sharqat rose up against their Islamic State captors after U.S.-backed coalition forces began to assault the city, according to a U.S. military spokesman.
“During the recent liberation of Sharqat, the local residents remained in their homes, rose up as the ISF advanced and helped push Daesh (ISIS) out of the city,” Air Force Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, told reporters Wednesday.
— OIR Spokesman (@OIRSpox) October 12, 2016
Sharqat’s residents have risen up against ISIS since at least Oct. 1, when a group of unidentified men attacked three ISIS members in Sharqat’s al-Salman village, shooting all of them to death. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), backed by U.S. air power, successfully took back the city from ISIS on Oct 9.
Uprisings in ISIS-held population centers in both Iraq and Syria are not uncommon following the rise of the so-called caliphate between 2013 and 2014. Reports of uprisings exist as far back as December, 2014, with even more citizens turning against ISIS captors in the last year.
The capture of Sharqat is a key step in the ongoing fight to liberate Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, from ISIS.
“The size of Mosul makes this by far the largest task the ISF has undertaken to date, an order of magnitude larger than the liberation battles in cities like Ramadi, Fallujah and Sharqat,” said Dorrian.
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