ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Fighting surged between Kurdish forces and the Islamic State (ISIS) on several northern fronts on Friday, killing eight Peshmerga soldiers and dozens of militants.
Seven Peshmerga were killed in a Friday afternoon suicide attack in the Jalawla village of Albu Daraji in northern Diyala province, Jalawla administrator Hazhar Ibrahim told Rudaw.
Earlier Friday, the Peshmerga’s Brigadier Sherko Shwani, a commander known in Kurdistan because of his frequent TV appearances to comment on the war, was killed south of Kirkuk during clashes that began with ISIS suicide attacks.
The Peshmerga inflicted heavy casualties on the insurgents in fighting on various fronts.
Peshmerga commander Brigadier Fayaq Hassan said that dozens of ISIS fighters were killed in the Hassan Sham heights on the Khazir front east of Mosul.
“ISIS militants launched an assault on the Peshmarga bases in the heights of Hasan Sham on the Khazir front. The Peshmarga defeated all the futile onslaughts,” he said.
“Some 150 ISIS militants launched a three-pronged attack, but we managed to defeat them, killing dozens of militants. The Peshmerga also managed to capture heavy weapons and ammunition left behind,” he said.
Rudaw reporter Hiwa Hussamadin said that heavy fog over the area had prevented coalition warplanes from targeting ISIS positions during the fighting.
He added that the militants had left 15 bodies behind in the village of Tal Ward, south of Kirkuk.
On the Makhmour front east of Mosul, the Peshmerga repulsed a four-pronged ISIS assault on the villages of Baqirt and Ruwala, killing several militants.
Early Friday, four ISIS suicide bombers broke into the Kirkuk Palace Hotel. One bomber died after detonating his payload, and the three others were killed after hours of intense fighting with security forces.