Kurdistan’s Peshmerga report new gains against Islamists near Kirkuk

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Kurdish Peshmerga forces fire locations of ISIS militants in northern Iraq. File photo

ARA News

Dohuk, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdish forces of the Peshmerga in Iraqi Kurdistan announced Monday its control over new villages in the southwestern areas of Kirkuk, after withdrawal of the Islamic State’s (IS/ISIL) militants under airstrikes by the U.S.-led international coalition’s warplanes. 

Heavy losses in lives and equipment hit the ranks of the group, and led to the withdrawal of its militants to the town of Riad near Hawijah. 

Meanwhile, battles continued Monday between the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces and IS insurgents in Salahuddin province. The Popular Mobilization Forces have reportedly regained control of Tikrit. 

This coincided with the announcement of the arrival of U.S. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the American Army to the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Iraqi journalist Ali Miteri told ARA News that Dempsey’s visit comes within the framework of an American investigation regarding Iranian interference in the battle of Tikrit and its support of Iraqi forces.

“The battles continue in Tikrit under the supervision of the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Soleimani. This has apparently raised U.S. concerns,” Miteri said, pointing out that Dempsey will also discuss a potential improvement of coordination between the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga troops in order to prepare for an extended battle to regain Mosul from the IS group.

Noteworthy, preparations are under way by Iraqi and Peshmerga forces for to regain control of Mosul, which has been under the control of the radical group since Jun, 2014.

 

Reporting by: Diyar Haji

Source: ARA News 

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