ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — US President Barack Obama spoke Monday at Antalya, Turkey’s G20 summit about the Shingal liberation operation carried out by Kurdish forces against ISIS last Thursday and Friday, saying that wherever there is a strong and effective force it is easy to defeat an organization like ISIS and seize areas under its control.
Obama also discussed US air support against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, saying his country had carried out 8,000 air raids on the extremist militants. Obama arrived in Turkey Sunday morning after an overnight flight from Washington and was greeted on the tarmac by Turkish officials.
On Thursday, Kurdish forces launched a dawn assault to liberate the town of Shingal from ISIS.
ISIS militants attacked the predominantly Kurdish Yezidi town of Shingal in August 2014, triggering a grim humanitarian crisis as thousands of locals fled to the safety of nearby Mount Shingal where they were trapped for weeks.
On Friday, vowing that “no other flag will rise in [Shingal],” Kurdistan region President Masoud Barzani declared the town liberated from ISIS and congratulated Yezidi Kurds on the victory.