Peshmerga forces targeting Islamic state militants at Gwer frontline.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region--Islamic state fighters launched suprise attacks along the Kurdistan Region's 1050 km frontier with the militants hours after it was announced that Kurdish Peshmerga were joining the battle alongside fellow Kurds on a separate frontline at Kobane.
Kurdish forces went on the alert after the militants attacked the outskirts of Kurdish-held territory early on Monday. They reached Gwer, outside Erbil, but were repulsed, Rudaw's Ranja Jamal reported from the area.
A Peshmerga commander, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 15 Kurdish soldiers from the Zeravani brigades were killed when a truck full of explosives was driven at high speed into a troop concentration near the Mosul Dam, wrested from ISIS control in August.
The ISIS attacks began at the outskirts of Qarah Tapah, a town along Kurdistan's south-western front also targeted by ISIS last week. Three Peshmerga were reported killed and others injured in an intense firefight, according to Mahmoud Sangawi, who is in charge of the district. "We repeatedly have been targeted with ISIS shells," he said.
"They mean to take on the areas that are populated by Shia in order to carry out another onslaught on them," Sangawi told Rudaw, referring to Shiite minorities who are living in villages around Qara Tapah.
"Islamic State suddenly began the attack in the early morning while most of people were asleep. They started bombarding the town but Peshmerga responded to their assault immediately," a Qarah Tapa witness told Rudaw.
Peshmerga forces use intelligence resources to put their fighters on stand-by before an ISIS attack, but "the information this time seemed to be incomplete to guide us how to prepare for their attacks. They changed course and they attacked from different directions," Sangawi told Rudaw after arriving at the frontline. " We will ultimately destroy them," he said.