Fatal Clashes in North Iraq Leaves 14 ISIS, 6 Kurdish Peshmerga Forces Dead

Published July 17th, 2018 - 01:22 GMT
(AFP/ File Photo)
(AFP/ File Photo)

Fourteen Daesh terrorists and six Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have been killed in clashes in northern Iraq, according to Peshmerga sources. 

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, a Peshmerga officer holding the rank of first lieutenant said 14 Daesh terrorists and six Peshmerga fighters had been killed in clashes late Monday during a joint operation being conducted by Peshmerga and Iraqi federal forces. 

The joint operation is ostensibly aimed at clearing northern Iraq’s Qarachukh Mountain region of the lingering Daesh presence. 

According to the officer, who spoke anonymously as he was not authorized to speak to media, Peshmerga forces are now “combing the mountainous region following fierce clashes with terrorist elements that had been holed up in the area”. 

The joint operation began early Monday with air support from a U.S.-led coalition cobbled together in 2015 to fight Daesh. 

On Monday, Colonel Saad Tahseen of the Iraqi army’s 16th Division told Anadolu Agency that the operation was meant to “restore confidence” between the Iraqi army and Peshmerga following “disagreements” that soured relations between the two sides last year. 

After the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) held an illegitimate referendum on Kurdish regional independence last September, Iraqi federal forces swiftly moved into parts of Iraq “disputed” between Baghdad and the Erbil-based KRG. 

Following limited clashes with Iraqi forces, Peshmerga fighters beat a hasty retreat from all disputed territories. 

One of those disputed areas was the Qarachukh Mountain region, which -- inhabited mainly by Arabs and Kurds -- is located between the Nineveh and Erbil provinces. 

Since the fall of Mosul (regional capital of Nineveh province) one year ago following a three-year army campaign, Iraqi forces have been pursuing remaining members of Daesh, which still maintains an active -- albeit limited -- presence in the country. 

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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