Peshmerga defeats IS after Shia militia loses villages
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – On Friday, Peshmerga forces defended Islamic State (IS) attacks on Khurmatu town in the south of Kirkuk Province after the Iraqi Shia militia and federal forces lost four villages to IS.
Brigadier General Samir, a Peshmerga Commander in Khurmatu, told Kurdistan24 that at 11:00 p.m. local time on Thursday, IS insurgents started to attack Shia militia Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi federal forces in the southwest of Khurmatu.
“The militia and federal forces failed to defeat Da’esh in the area,” Samir said, using the Arabic pejorative for IS.
“Eventually, Da’esh retook four villages, including Bir Ahmed one, Bir Ahmed two, Zanjali and Aboud,” the Commander added.
Samir stated that those villages were previously liberated by Peshmerga forces, but were handed over to the Iraqi troops and Shia militia to protect.
“Da’esh began to change the course of their attack toward Peshmerga bases after controlling the villages,” he said.
Samir noted that the offensive killed many insurgents, and heavily thwarted their attack.
“They attacked Peshmerga bases but, as always, they failed to cross the front line, were defeated and retreated to the villages,” Samir explained.
Regarding Peshmerga casualties, he mentioned that two Kurdish forces were ‘martyred’ and 36 others wounded.
“We wanted to liberate the four villages again after defeating Da’esh, but Iraqi federal forces disagreed and stated that they will free the villages. So we left it to them,” the Peshmerga Commander declared.
According to the information that Kurdistan24 reporter Hemin Dallo obtained from sources, about 30 Hashd al-Shaabi militiamen have been killed and wounded. Additionally, he added that IS also arrested 18 militiamen.
Moreover, on Friday morning, a car bomb also targeted a Peshmerga security checkpoint in Khurmatu. Peshmerga successfully detonated the bomb before it reached the base.
Dallo reported live from the area and stated that the car bomb caused no deaths but injured a truck driver who was close to the explosion.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany