Rudaw file photo of Peshmerga soldiers pictured in their positions following clashes with ISIS militants in Khurmatu.
An ISIS attack on Kurdish forces on the Khurmatu front has been defeated, said a military official, but the Peshmerga suffered casualties during the course of the confrontation.
“Many evenings, ISIS militants get close to the Peshmerga bases and open fire. And this evening, the militants got close to the Peshmerga in Zarga area in Khurmatu opening fire on the Peshmerga,” said Abdulla Bor, Peshmerga commander of the Khurmatu front.
He confirmed there were casualties among the Peshmerga, some wounded and some killed, but he did not give details.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Kurdish Peshmerga forces have been engaged in clashes with a number of ISIS militants in the Zarga area in Tuz Khurmatu, southern Kirkuk, said an official, adding that the confrontation is ongoing.
“The ISIS attack started an hour ago from two directions,” said Kawa Sheikhani, an officer from the Khurmatu Police, adding that “according to information more than 30 ISIS have taken part in the attack.”
The spot of the confrontation is nearby Zarga lake, west of Khurmatu.
The Peshmerga have received reinforcements to repel the attackers.
Militants have launched numerous attacks against Kurdish Peshmerga forces south of Kirkuk, notably Khurmatu, in the past three years. Kurdish military leaders see it as a major threat to Kirkuk’s security and stability.
And in a bid to halt the group, Peshmerga forces west of Tuz Khurmatu have begun digging a 43-kilometer trench near the town and a watch tower to monitor the area and any ISIS movement.
Peshmerga officials say they have knowledge that ISIS is using the area for moving reinforcements from one place to another, particularly around Hamrin and even to Diyala province.