SYRIA

Video: 'Airstrikes not enough to defeat IS militants'

FRANCE 24

Coalition airstrikes in Iraq have already helped push back Islamic State (IS) militants, however, Kurdish fighters on the front line near Erbil told FRANCE 24 that bombing campaigns alone will not be enough.

Advertising

The roar of coalition fighter jets overhead near the Iraqi village of Saqi was deafening, but it was a welcome sound to the Kurdish Peshmerga.

From the battle positions they took up on Friday they could see the damage inflicted by the coalition jets on IS targets earlier in the week.

“We don't know whether it's American or French, but the plane is there,” Peshmerga commander Serwan Barzani said, pointing toward a dark spec in the sky.

Barzani told FRANCE 24 that the weakened IS battalion is now sheltering in schools, hospitals and mosques in Saqi, locations that they know the coalition will not bomb.

More than anyone else, the Peshmerga fighters can see the limitations of the coalition airstrikes as the campaign against IS gets underway.

Flushing out the Islamists looks set to a daunting and drawn out task.

To watch FRANCE 24’s full video report with Kurdish fighters on the front line in Iraq click on the player above.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning