ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - Heavy fire exchanges took place between the Kurdish Peshmerga Forces and the Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia on the outskirt of Erbil on Friday.
The clashes erupted after the Iraqi Forces and the Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), approached the town of Pirde, or Altun Kupri, a Peshmerga Commander on the front line told a Kurdistan 24 Correspondent.
Altun Kupri is a mixed town inhabited by Kurds, Turkmen, and Arabs. The town is located at the line of contact between the Peshmerga and Iraqi Forces.
The clashes started at 8:00 a.m. Friday as the militia and Iraqi Forces aimed to advance and storm Pirde, the last northern town in the province of Kirkuk, just before entering Erbil.
The Peshmerga reportedly destroyed 12 Iraqi Forces and militia's humvees and armored vehicles using US anti-tank missiles, according to the Kurdistan 24 correspondent.
"The forces are using heavy US weapons and military equipment against the Peshmerga," a Commander said.
Editing by G.H. Renaud