ISIL assault on Iraqi town leaves several soldiers dead

At least 11 Iraqi soldiers killed during clashes with ISIL in the town of Ishaqi, north of Baghdad.

    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has launched an assault from two fronts, targeting the Iraqi military's 10th Brigade in town of Ishaqi, 95km north of Baghdad, killing at least 11 Iraqi soldiers.

    Clashes broke out between the Iraqi army and ISIL fighters on Wednesday morning in the town of Ishaqi in the Balad District of the Salaheddin Governorate of Iraq. About 20 others were injured.

    ISIL fighters retreated after hours of fighting in an area that was liberated by the Iraqi forces two months ago.

    Elsewhere, Iraqi forces, with the help of Peshmerga forces were able to recapture the Khabbaz oil field in Kirkuk, which ISIL had seized last week.

    Meanwhile, Fouad Hussein, chief of staff to Kurdish President Massoud Barzani, called for greater support in the battle against ISIL, including foreign troops, saying the Kurds are "alone" in the fight.

    Hussein said the US-led coalition airstrikes are helpful but "to finish ISIS ... you need to finish it on the ground. And on the ground, we are most of the time alone. So we need partners".

    "It means advisers, it means special forces, it means a collective fight against ISIS, it means equipment, it means munitions," Hussein added.

    The US-led coalition airstrikes continued to attack ISIL positions in Iraq and Syria, in which several tactical units were bombed and destroyed for the group on Wednesday.

    On Wednesday, Jabbar Yawar, secretary-general of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs said that about 1,000 of its troops have been killed since June last year.

    "At least 999 Peshmerga troops lost their lives and 4,596 have been injured since June 10 when ISIL militants stormed the northern province of Mosul," he said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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