In this file photo, Kurdish Peshmerga forces are seen on the left, and ISIS militants on the right. Credit: Jinda Ibrahim/ARA News
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DUHOK – Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) launched an offensive on the headquarters of the Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq, killing and wounding a number of Kurdish soldiers, military sources reported on Sunday.
ISIS militants launched three simultaneous car bomb attacks on a security centre for the Kurdish Peshmerga in the Khazir District east of Mosul.
“After detonating three car bombs at Peshmerga security checkpoints in the Khazir District, ISIS militants fire a number of mortar shells on a main building for the Peshmerga leadership in the district,” Kurdish journalist Nechirvan Ahmed told ARA News in Khazir.
At least four Peshmergas were killed and seven more were injured in the offensive.
“Daesh terrorists are trying to avoid clashes with the Peshmerga forces. They’ve lost many battles with the Peshmerga, that’s why they now depend on such attacks with car bombs and mortar shells,” Peshmerga officer Jamshid Hamo told ARA News, using another acronym for ISIS.
After the attack, the Kurdish forces were heavily deployed in the surroundings of Khazir to prevent any infiltration attempt by ISIS militants.
Peshmerga’s Critical Role in Mosul Operation
Iraqi Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces will play a critical role amongst others in the anti-ISIS Mosul operation, the US Central Command said on Wednesday.
“We have a very aggressive and I think a very interactive planning process going on, that includes the Peshmerga, thew ISF and other entities in Iraq in making sure that we have the right mix of forces to do this,” General Joseph L. Votel of the US Central Command told reporters.
“In my recent discussions with President Barzani [of Iraqi Kurdistan] as recently as week or so ago, he continued to commit his pledge to continue to work with the Iraqi security forces in helping with us,” he said.
Last week, a top Kurdish delegation met with the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi in Baghdad and reached agreements on oil exports and discussed the impending battle for Mosul.
“So we expect everyone to play a critical role in the Mosul operation and so far I think we’re seeing that,” Votel said. “And we’re seeing good interchange right now between the military and political elements to continue to address all the very complex issues that have to be addressed in a large urban area like Mosul.”
Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri
Source: ARA News