ISIL fighters driven back from Iraqi oil town of Kirkuk

ISIL fighters driven back from Iraqi oil town of Kirkuk

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, who launched an offensive on the northern Iraqi town of Kirkuk, have been driven back from the oil-producing town by Kurdish forces.

A senior Kurdish military commander, Brigadier General Shirko Fatih, and at least 25 of his soldiers were killed in the battle on Friday in one of the most aggressive ISIL attacks for months, officials said.

“ISIL fighters took advantage of the fog and they launched their surprise attack, but we managed to defeat them,” Mariwan Abdel Khaleg, from the Peshmerga 17th Brigade, told Al Jazeera.

“We are responsible for protecting Iraqi territory, inch by inch.”

The casualties near oil-rich Kirkuk were a heavy setback for the Iraqi Kurds, who have been at the forefront of the battle against ISIL, which has captured a third of both Iraq and Syria in a blitz last year.

Home to a mix of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen, the Kurds want to incorporate Kirkuk into their self-ruled region in Iraq’s north, a proposition strongly opposed by Arabs and the Turkmen.

Related Post

French police detain six in new ‘anti-terror’ raid
views 51
PARIS: French police detained six people on Sunday suspected of recruiting potential jihadists, just days after another operation saw five charged on ...
DUBAI INFERNO: 1 Dead, 14 Injured
views 76
The huge Address Downtown hotel burst into flames just hours before scheduled New Year celebrations. A massive explosion was then heard in the basemen...
Colombia landslides: 127 dead, 220 missing
views 27
The torrential rains triggered what the Colombian Army called an "avalanche" of muddy water from the Mocoa River and its tributaries. Soon the city's ...
Gunmen kill 12 Europeans at Ivory Coast beach resort
views 47
Four gunmen armed with machine guns and hand grenades killed at least 12 people at a popular tourist report in Ivory Coast. The heavily armed, balacla...
UK votes to leave EUROPE in historic referendum
views 137
The UK has voted to leave the European Union after 43 years in a historic referendum. Leave won by 52% to 48% with England and Wales voting strongly f...

SHARE WHAT YOU THINK