Atta Haji Mahmoud (first left) and his father Hamay Haji Mahmoud (second right) on the frontlines near Kirkuk. Photo: Rudaw
KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region - The son of the leader of the Kurdistan Socialist Party was killed in the battle of the village of Tal Ward south of Kirkuk Wednesday afternoon, his family said.
Atta Haji Mahmoud, 35, the son of Muhammad Haji Mahmoud, the leader of the Socialist Party died of his wounds when trying to retake the village from Islamic State (ISIS) militants.
“My son Atta was just one of the many Peshmergas who have given their lives in the past six months to their people and land,” said the party leader at his son’s burial.
“Kurdistan has reached this day with the blood of our Peshmerga and we will defend it with our blood,” he said. “The enemy will never again set foot on this land.”
He was the eldest son of the family, married and with a 5-year-old son.
The leader of the Socialist Party was appointed the commander of a large force of Peshmerga forces south of Kirkuk by Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani in June.
The battle of Tal Ward was led by Haji Mahmoud and hours later the village was taken back from ISIS.
His death came just two days after he was seen in pictures walking alongside his father in the town of Jalawla in northern Diyala that was liberated from ISIS on Sunday.
The head of the Socialist Party is a veteran Kurdish commander and revered in the Kurdistan Region for his fighting record against the former regime of Saddam Hussein in the 1980s.