ISIS militants launch major offensive on Peshmerga positions

Kurdish forces of the Peshmerga taking a break after fierce clashes with ISIS militants in the vicinity of Makhmur town in northern Iraq. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

DUHOK – Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) launched a major offensive on locations for the Kurdish Peshmerga forces on several fronts in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, military sources reported on Tuesday. 

However, Kurdish military sources said on Tuesday that the Peshmerga forces were able to deter ISIS attack, pointing out that the jihadis carried out several car bomb attacks on the Peshmerga positions in the areas of Telskuf, Ba’shiqah, Khazar and Kweir. 

ISIS tries to breach defenses of the Kurdish forces in the vicinity of Mosul, northern Iraq, especially after the US-led coalition forces inflicted the group with heavy losses in its ranks.

Speaking to ARA News, Kurdish commander M.K. said that the ISIS-led offensive against their forces began in the early morning hours with several car bomb attacks in a bid to infiltrate into the Peshmerga-controlled areas in northern Iraq. 

“Then a number of [ISIS] suicide bombers tried to break into the Kurdish positions from several sides, but we were able to foil their attack,” the Peshmerga commander said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

In the meantime, the US-led coalition forces conducted several air raids, hitting a number of ISIS tactical units and fighting positions in the vicinity of the clashes areas. 

“Because of the victories achieved by the Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk two days ago [recapturing the key village of al-Bashir from ISIS], ISIS tried to compensate its losses through launching suicide operations on strongholds of the Kurdish forces in the region,” Peshmerga Secretary General Jabbar Yawar told local reporters on Tuesday.

Speaking to ARA News, a security source from the Kurdish Peshmerga forces said: “The battles are still ongoing between the two sides [ISIS and Peshmerga] in the vicinity of Telskuf, Ba’shiqah, Khazar and Kweir despite the US-led coalition airstrikes on the group’s tactical units and positions.”

“The group is depending on hit-and-run tactic in the clashes areas,” the source said.

“However, after the Kurdish Peshmerga forces prevented ISIS terrorists from taking over key posts in the region, the terror group started to shell the Peshmerga headquarters with mortars and rockets,” the source added. 

ARA News could not verify the death toll on both sides. 

ISIS aims to raise the morale of its militants and supporters after being exposed to heavy losses over the past few months, according to observers. 

On Sunday, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces began a major military operation against the radical group and were able to free the key village of al-Bashir south of Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, local sources told ARA News. 

Reporting by: Issa Ali

Source: ARA News

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