Kurds push back the 'borders' of the Islamic State

Kurds push back the 'borders' of the Islamic State
The Peshmerga has recaptured swathes of Kurdish areas around Kirkuk from the IS group, reportedly killing 100 militants and seizing heavy weaponry.
1 min read
10 March, 2015
Kurdish Peshmerga forces continue their advance against the IS group [Anadolu]

The Peshmerga has made "significant progress" in the past two days of battles with the Islamic State group (IS, formerly known as Isis), it has emerged.

Peshmerga forces expelled IS fighters from a 170 sq km area west and south of Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, on Monday and Tuesday.

Colonel Osman Mohammad, a spokesperson at the Kurdistan Regional Government's Peshmerga ministry, said that the Kurdish armed group had killed 100 IS militants and seized a large amount of weaponry, including US-issued armoured vehicles.

An IS assault on northern Iraq in June 2014 saw the extremists advance 35km from Kirkuk.

Now they have been pushed back 50km from the city, which means the threats to the city's population, and Kirkuk's oil and gas facilities, have been significantly reduced.

Col Mohammed said that recaptured towns and villages include Tal al-Ward, Mulla Abdullah, and al-Sakhra, which have Kurdish-majority populations.

"Ten Peshmerga personnel were killed and more than 30 others were injured during the battles, including 33 Iranian Kurds fighting for the Kurdish Azadi Party," the spokesman said.

As the Kurdish fighters advanced, it was reported that Arab Sunni families were fleeing the areas around Kirkuk for IS-controlled Mosul, fearing reprisals and shelling.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.