Bombs kill 13 Iraq Kurds in anti-ISIS operation

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters walk with their weapons as smoke rises from a site of clashes south of Daquq, north of Baghdad. (File: Reuters)

Bombs killed 13 members of the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces during an operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group in the northern province of Kirkuk on Friday, officers said.

“The aim (of the operation) is to secure the Baghdad-Kirkuk road and the centre of the Daquq district and to end activity by (ISIS) members,” said Mohammed Mustafa Hama, a brigadier general in the autonomous Kurdish region’s peshmerga forces.

Hama said that roadside bombs and explosives-rigged vehicles left by the militants killed 13 peshmerga and wounded 47 during the operation, figures confirmed by a second Kurdish brigadier general who declined to be identified by name.

The second officer said the operation was launched at dawn on Friday with support from international coalition aircraft, and had succeeded in retaking 10 villages from ISIS.

Kurdish forces also retook villages from ISIS in Kirkuk in a similar operation in late August.

ISIS overran large areas of Iraq in a devastating offensive in June 2014, sweeping security forces aside, and drove Kurdish forces back towards their regional capital that August.

A U.S.-led coalition began carrying out air strikes against the jihadists and Kurdish forces have since pushed the militants back, as have Iraqi federal forces in other areas.

But much of western Iraq remains under ISIS control.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:56 - GMT 10:56