RABIA, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – On Tuesday night, Peshmerga forces ambushed Islamic State (IS) militants in the town of Rabia, killing 17, according to a commander.
The operation took place at 11:20 pm, carried out by Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) Peshmerga near the town of Rabia located on the Syrian border.
“A resident in the area told nearby Peshmerga and security forces that a Kia truck was driving toward the Peshmerga front line with its lights off. He knew there was something suspicious,” a Peshmerga Commander in Rabia, whose name was not mentioned, told Kurdistan24 during a live interview.
The commander stated upon receiving the information, Rojava Peshmerga with the support of the Sinjar (Shingal) Peshmerga prepared to ambush the truck.
Peshmerga tried to stop the vehicle in the village of Muthalatha, located between Rabia and Tal Afar, to ask for their IDs when IS members in the truck began shooting, and a firefight between both sides ensued.
“17 terrorists were burnt and killed by a Peshmerga RPG after they refused to surrender and opened fire on our troops,” the commander said while standing next to the jihadists' bodies.
He noted the identity of most of the fallen militants remain unknown as they were severely burnt. Some IDs found on the corpses, however, suggested some of the members originated from Baghdad, Najaf and the local towns.
Kurdistan24 footage shows many of the IS militants burned while most likely looking for cover in the back of the truck.
Abu Nawaf Shammari, who was one of the jihadists, detonated his suicide vest after the group failed to cross the military checkpoint, according to Kurdistan24 Correspondent Masoud Mohammed.
“The end of Da’esh is near in the area, so the militants are trying to escape from Tal Afar and other remaining pockets of resistance,” the commander added.
Rabia is one of the towns liberated and secured by Peshmerga forces. The Peshmerga Ministry created an Arab brigade to protect the Arab-populated areas, with 2,000 soldiers known as the West Tigris Brigade working with other Peshmerga forces to ensure the security of towns in the Region.
Editing by G.H. Renaud