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Sulaimaniyah (Iraq) (AFP) – Iraq’s Kurdish peshmerga forces are coordinating a counter-offensive against jihadists around the Iraqi city of Mosul with Kurdish fighters from Syria and Turkey, a political leader said on Wednesday.

Senior Iraqi Kurdish official Hallo Penjweny acknowledged that fighters from the Turkish PKK group and the Syrian PYD were leading operations against the Islamic State in the Sinjar area, while Iraqi peshmerga were trying to secure areas north and east of Mosul.

“The fighters of West Kurdistan and the PKK are responsible for confronting Daash (Islamic State) in Rabia and the Sinjar area,” said Penjweny, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party’s top official for the Mosul region.

“On our side, we are taking care of Zumar and the rest of the area north and east of Mosul,” he told reporters.

Sinjar is west of Mosul, the second city in Iraq and the Islamic State’s main hub in the country.

Jihadist fighters ousted the peshmerga there on Sunday, sparking the exodus of thousands of civilians, many of whom are now hiding in nearby mountains and facing serious shortages of food and water.

Zumar is a town north of Mosul the jihadists seized a day earlier. Their offensive dealt a blow to the peshmerga, who have been complaining of a lack of ammunition.

“The PKK fighters have reached the Jabal Sinjar area, where they are protecting the Sinjaris from attacks” by jihadist fighters, Penjweny said.

It was not immediately clear whether the Syrian and Turkish fighters had reclaimed control of the town of Sinjar, or even part of it.

AFP Photo/Rick Findler

Screenshot from Daily Kos

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The latest right-wing "antifa" hoax—namely, the claim that leftist arsonists have been secretly behind the wildfires that have swept the West Coast this month—is now being broadcast to millions of people. It bubbled up from the fever swamps of the far right, broadcast widely by key figures atop the media food chain: Donald Trump, Joe Rogan, Fox News, and leading Republican political candidates.

Trump retweeted an alt-right-flavored anti-Biden video suggesting he was ignoring antifa arsonists threatening the suburbs. Rogan, a wildly popular podcast host, told his audience that "left-wing people" were responsible for the fires (and apologized for it the next day). Fox News appeared especially eager to blame antifa for the wildfires as a way of denying the role of climate change. And in Washington state, where the fires have hit hard, the Republican nominee in the governor's race joined in spreading the claims through a campaign video.

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