The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) executed several Kurdish Peshmerga troops and took one hostage amid deadly clashes between the two groups near the oil-rich Iraqi city of Kirkuk, social media accounts linked to the jihadist group claimed, according to Rudaw.
On Monday, ISIS launched a pre-dawn assault on the Kurdish Peshmerga west of Kirkuk, a city located an estimated 150 miles north of Baghdad.
Reportedly, the Peshmerga have since repelled the ISIS attack, which was aimed at seizing the important Syryani oil refinery in southeastern Kirkuk.
Peshmerga forces were able to drive ISIS back from the cluster of villages surrounding the oil refinery.
“More than 600 ISIS fighters launched an attack on Talwra, Big Homeyra, Small Homeyra, Al-Murra and Shahid villages, but they were defeated by the Peshmerga,” a Peshmerga officer, identified only as Wasta Rasul, told Rudaw early Monday.
ISIS did manage to capture one of the villages, Al-Murra, in the wee hours of Monday morning, but the Peshmerga troops were able to take it back by 6 a.m. that day.
Reporting from Baghdad, Al Jazeera’s Jane Arraf mentioned that although ISIS “moved in with multiple suicide car bombs, followed by a more sustained attack” early Monday morning, the Kurdish troops were able to push the jihadists away.
U.S.-led coalition airstrikes assisted the Peshmerga in driving ISIS out, reports Al Jazeera.
The Peshmerga have neither confirmed nor denied the alleged capture of one of its fighters, notes Rudaw. They have not released information on their fatalities, either.
“Kurdish estimates indicated that more than 100 ISIS fighters were killed and injured in Monday’s battles,” notes Rudaw.
Two ISIS Humvees were destroyed by the Peshmerga, Rasul told Rudaw. Furthermore, unnamed sources told Al Jazeera that the Peshmerga also demolished three ISIS tanks.
“The Kurdish Peshmerga took control of Kirkuk last year shortly after ISIL captured Mosul from the Iraqi army,” reports Al Jazeera. “Since then they have fought some of their fiercest battles against ISIL south of the city.”
ISIS has beheaded Peshmerga fighters it has captured in the past.