Kurdish Peshmerga display antique weapons used against well-equipped Isis fighters on the Bashiq frontline, approximately 18km from Mosul
Kurdish Peshmerga Forces on the Bashiq frontline
A Kurdish Peshmerga soldier holds what he claims is a German Luger from World War 2
A Kurdish Peshmerga soldier standing on the Bashiq frontline against Isis, with Mosul on the horizon
A 63-year-old Peshmerga figher Mamuri Purida at a Kurdish frontline post near Makhmur, 3km from Isis-held territory
Mamuri Purida points to a picture of President Masoud Barzani beside a map of greater Kurdistan at a frontline post near Makhmur
Kurdish Peshmerga driving between outposts on Bashiq frontline
The Isis-held town of Bashiq, northern Iraq, seen from the Kurdish Peshmerga frontline with Mosul on the far horizon
A ruined bus stop on the road to Qayyarah with burning oil wells in the distance
Qayyarah, a town of 15,000 people engulfed in smoke from burning oil wells lit by retreating Isis fighters in August
Photographs from Dublin journalist Ruaidhrí Giblin, who has recently returned from Iraq.
Ruaidhrí spent six weeks reporting on the build-up to the military offensive by Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi special forces towards Mosul which is seen as the de-facto capital of Isis.
He toured several frontlines with the Kurds and Iraqi forces.
On Sunday, he will broadcast a report on the Kurdish Peshmerga on RTÉ’s World Report.
Ahead of this, Ruaidhrí writes:
Iraqi Kurds don’t have a country, they have a Regional Government. They don’t have a regular army, they have an irregular militia, whose name the ‘Peshmerga’ literally means those that face death.
They don’t have modern weapons, advanced technology or heavy artillery and often appear in button down shirts and traditional Kurdish trousers.
They’ve gone months without being paid because Iraqi Kurdistan is overwhelmed with two million refugees from Syria and other parts of Iraq.
Yet, they, along with their Syrian counterparts, are the most effective fighting force against Isis since the terror group emerged on their doorstep in 2014.
All they want, they say, is recognition from the world – to be able to put their flag on the international map. The story of the Kurds deserves attention.
World Report is on Sunday at 8am on RTÉ Radio One.
Kurdish peshmerga and Iraqi special forces have advanced to within around six miles of the city of Mosul, after launching a major three-pronged attack early on Thursday against dug-in Islamic State militants.
Hundreds of armoured vehicles including tanks and humvees began a large-scale offensive at around 6am local time, the Kurdish peshmerga general command said in a statement. Their target was a series of villages to the north and north-east of Mosul held by Isis fighters.
Iraqi and Kurdish forces close in on Mosul after making quick gains (The Guardian)
Photographs: Ruaidhrí Giblin