Four Peshmerga killed in ISIS attack in Kirkuk – reporter

File – Peshmerga fighters taking position with their weapons on the frontline against the Islamic State on the outskirts of Mosul. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Four members of the Peshmerga forces were “martyred” in another Islamic State (ISIS) attack in Kirkuk province, Esta Media Network reporter said on Monday.

A group of ISIS remnants attacked the frontline of the Peshmerga forces near Qara Salim in Prde sub-district in north of Kirkuk late on Sunday.

The Kurdish forces thwarted the attack, but casualties were reported, according to the Peshmerga ministry.

Esta Media Network reporter in Kirkuk said four members of the Peshmerga forces including a captain in the attack.

Two other Peshmerga were wounded, he added.

“The militants tried their best to capture the Peshmerga’s barricade, but those Peshmerga defended and killed a number of the militants, despite a lack of bullets and equipment,” the reporter cited a commander as saying.

Reuters cited security sources as saying that one civilian was also killed and six other people were wounded.

The militant group also took over Liheban village in Kirkuk on Sunday night.

The two villages are in remote territory claimed by Baghdad and Erbil, where there are regular attacks by Islamic State. But it is a rare incident of ISIS militants controlling a residential area near a main road, a highway that links Erbil to the city of Kirkuk.

It was the sixth attack against the Peshmerga forces in the disputed territories since November 27.

Last week, the militants carried out five attacks against Peshmerga forces in Garmian administration and Qarachogh mountain near Makhmour, southwest of Erbil.

Three civilians and 10 members of the Peshmerga forces were killed in the attack on Khidrjija village in the foothills of Qarachogh mountain.

Eight other members of the Peshmerga forces were killed in the attacks in Kifri and Kulajo in Garmian administration, according to authorities.

Kurdish officials and analysts have long blamed a lack of coordination along a stretch of territory claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil for ISIS’ continued ability to wage deadly attacks.

The Peshmerga ministry said the militants continued to use a security gap between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces to attack the Peshmerga.

Islamic State controlled roughly a third of Iraq between 2014 and 2017, including the remote Makhmour region but also major cities including Mosul.

Iraqi forces, Kurdish troops and Iran-backed Shia militias defeated the militant group in 2017, but its members still roam areas of northern Iraq and northeastern Syria.

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