Iraqi forces retake village in Kirkuk from ISIS terrorists

Iraqi forces have recaptured a village in northern Iraq that had fallen under the control of the ISIS terrorists the day before.

Media reports quoting security sources said elite Iraqi Interior Ministry forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters managed early Monday to take control of Luhaiban village in Kirkuk. A cleanup operation was underway across the area as Daesh left some houses booby-trapped with explosive devices, the sources said.

The Luhaiban village in northern Iraq was attacked and besieged by the Daesh terrorists on Sunday evening.

Hours later, Daesh terrorists killed at least five people and wounded six others in another attack in northern Iraq, according to reports citing security sources. The incident took place near Qara Salem village in the Kobri district.

In a statement on Sunday, the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs also confirmed the incident and the casualties but did not divulge details about the toll.

Following the assaults, the Iraqi security units immediately sent reinforcements to the area to help the Peshmerga forces. Iraqi military helicopters were seen flying over the area to chase terrorists.

One Peshmerga colonel was quoted as saying that the Daesh terrorists used hit-and-run tactics to target their positions in overnight attacks. “They avoid holding the ground for a longer time … More reinforcement forces were dispatched to the area to prevent further attacks,” he said.

The two villages are located in a remote territory equally claimed by the central Iraqi government and the administration of the Kurdish autonomous northern region of Erbil.

However, it was rare for the terrorist group to conquer a residential area near the main road – a highway that connects Erbil to the city of Kirkuk.

The incident comes in the wake of a similar attack in northern Iraq on Friday, which killed at least 13 people including three villagers and 10 Kurdish forces.

Daesh controlled roughly a third of Iraq between 2014 and 2017, including major cities such as Mosul. The Iraqi army defeated the terrorist group in 2017 with the help of popular resistance groups, but its members are still present in some areas of northern Iraq and northeastern Syria.

The US military has stationed forces and military equipment in eastern and northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh. At least 10,000 of the terrorists are reportedly present in Iraq and Syria. Having changed its strategies, the group still threatens several provinces in the region with hit-and-run attacks, kidnappings, and roadside bombs.

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