ISIL and Peshmerga forces battle for ground near Kirkuk

Kurdish Peshmerga forces reclaim village hours after ISIL fighters seized it during clashes near oil-rich Iraqi city.

    ISIL and Peshmerga forces battle for ground near Kirkuk
    The Kirkuk rapid response police members launched an operation against ISIL last week in Kirkuk [Getty Images]

    Kurdish Peshmerga forces have recaptured a village from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), hours after the armed group seized control of it during deadly clashes, sources told Al Jazeera.

    Peshmerga forces were able to take back al-Murra village from ISIL fighters on Monday morning, after hours of clashes just 25km south of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

    Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf, reporting from Baghdad, said ISIL moved in with multiple suicide car bombs, followed by a more sustained attack, but the Peshmerga were able to recapture the village.

    "According to Peshmerga General Sarhed Qader, the ISIL offensive began at 1am local time from three directions [the al-Shaheed compound, Miriam Beeq and Murra]," she said.

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    "ISIL was repelled from the first two directions but managed to take the village of Murra.

    "They were driven out after [US-led] coalition aircraft launched air strikes. Police commanders say Peshmerga and police forces took back the village at 6am local time."

    Three ISIL tanks were destroyed by the Peshmerga, sources told Al Jazeera.

    ISIL also tried to attack Wadi Naft which is southwest of Kirkuk using a suicide car bomber. 

    The Kurdish Peshmerga took control of Kirkuk last year shortly after ISIL captured Mosul from the Iraqi army. Since then they have fought some of their fiercest battles against ISIL south of the city.

    Dozens killed in air strikes

    Elsewhere in Iraq, at least 24 people, including women and children, were reportedly killed when Iraqi forces launched air strikes and rocket attacks overnight in Anbar province, in the areas of al-Bushijel, al-Saghrit, al-Shuhada, and al-Saglawiya, sources in Fallujah hospital said.

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    More than 50 others were injured in the attack. The Fallujah hospital is under ISIL control.

    Anbar security sources said that Iraqi security forces have retaken the strategic al-Yabani bridge north of Ramadi near Saglawiya. At least 14 ISIL fighters have been reportedly killed.

    Sources told Al Jazeera that five suicide car bombs attacked the Nadhem al-Taqsim base 15km northeast of Fallujah on Sunday afternoon.

    Another suicide attack was also reportedly carried out on the Haditha dam, 160km west of Ramadi, killing at least two soldiers and injuring three others, according to Iraqi Army general Ali Dabuun. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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