Smoke believed to be from an airstrike billows over the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, Nov. 12, 2015.
Bram Janssen—AP
By Tessa Berenson
December 18, 2015

U.S. led airstrikes this week killed 180 ISIS fighters in the heaviest fighting seen in northern Iraq this year.

Brig. Gen. Mark Odom, the top U.S. military official in northern Iraq, said the U.S. and allies launched 17 hours of airstrikes after an ISIS assault against Kurdish position around Mosul, the Washington Post reports.

According to the Post, at between seven and 18 Kurdish fighters were killed. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said the fight shows the effectiveness of the Kurdish fighters against ISIS when they’re backed by air support.

“This was the hardest punch ISIL had thrown since this summer, and the peshmerga defeated them,” Col. Steve Warren, a U.S. military spokesman, said.

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