Kirkuk: Iraq`s army chief of staff said he expects federal troops and Kurdish peshmerga forces to reclaim large swathes of land after the US began air strikes today against jihadist positions.
"There will be huge changes on the ground in the coming hours," Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari told AFP, moments after the Pentagon confirmed its first air raids against the Islamic State.
"The US airforce is targeting Daash (Islamic State) bases in Makhmur and in the Sinjar area," he said. "The operation is due to continue in Iraqi towns controlled by Daash," he said, without specifying which ones.
Makhmur is southeast of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous region of Kurdistan, while Sinjar is a region east of the main jihadist hub of Mosul where thousands of displaced civilians are awaiting assistance.
"Iraqi army officers, the peshmerga and US experts are working together to select the targets," Zebari said.