Kurdish and Iraqi forces have regained control of several villages around the IS-held town of Jalawla. As they chipped away at the IS stronghold, U.S. forces continued to execute air strikes in the area surrounding the Mosul dam Friday. Kurdish forces reclaimed the dam from IS on Sunday, marking a large victory in their efforts to move the jihadist forces out of the country.
The Pentagon released a video of air strikes conducted in the vicinity of the Mosul dam Monday.
The news of progress comes at the same time U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey announced they were evaluating mounting a similar offensive against IS in Syria but skirted around the issue of calling for U.S. military action in eastern Syria.
"Can they be defeated without addressing that part of the organization that resides in Syria? The answer is no," said Dempsey.
The reconsideration of military action in Syria comes after the brutal beheading of American journalist James Foley by IS. Foley was captured in Syria in November 2012 and was one of several journalists who are still missing.