Masoud Barzani. Photo: Rudaw.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said on Saturday that the extremist Islamic State (ISIS) had been planning its recent attacks on the Peshmerga defense lines for more than a month and had specifically planned the assault for the Kurdish flag day.
“The terrorists' attack is counted as their biggest and they had planned it for a month, but the brave Peshmerga defeated ISIS on all fronts,” said Barzani in a statement.
Barzani said the attack that occurred on the Kurdish national flag day was the ‘terrorists’ plan to “Bring down the flag of Kurdistan from the lion’s den,”
The Kurdish president praised the Peshmerga forces for their “brave and courageous defense of the people and their land,” as he also sent condolences to the families of those killed in last week’s confrontations.
ISIS militants launched their biggest offensives in months against the Peshmerga on multiple fronts on Wednesday, leading to two days of fierce fighting from Western Mosul to the town of Makhmour.
More than 70 Islamist militants were killed in the attacks.
Several Peshmerga soldiers and two officers also lost their lives to a series of ISIS suicide bombers.
“I am saddened by the martyrdom of a group of brave Peshmerga and it was a big loss to us all,” said Barzani.