Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk province
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish Peshmerga forces have retaken five villages from the Islamic State after launching an offensive Saturday in the south of the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, security officials told Rudaw Sunday.
The villages of Daquq, Auzeria and Atshana were among the most important areas retaken by Kurdish forces on Saturday. According to Peshmerga commanders in Kirkuk, the southeastern villages of Auzeria and Atshana were of key value to ISIS fighters to link areas under their Control to Daquq.
Peshmerga have followed the military plans on Saturday’s offensive, and they have successfully reached the results, Sarhad Qadir, director of security in Kirkuk province, told Rudaw Sunday.
Responding to Rudaw’s question as to whether there was any possible plan to recapture the Turkmen village of Bashir south of Kirkuk, Qadir said the village was not an immediate objective, but the main roads to Bashir had been cleared of ISIS. “If we received an order to recapture the village, it wouldn’t be a difficult task,” he said.
Bashir is home to more than 2,000 families, most of them Shiite Turkmens.
This is the second time Kurdish forces have tried to clear Atshana and Auzeria villages from the extremists. Last month the Peshmerga took temporary control of the areas, but ISIS later regained them.