Major Clashes Between Peşmerge and ISIS Near Kirkut

Major clashes have taken place between peşmerge units and fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) in the province of Kirkuk, says an article in Özgür Gündem. A larger number of ISIS fighters were killed in the fighting, and there are reports that the peşmerge also suffered some losses. The fighting points to the growing threat posed to Kurdistan by the ISIS, who captured Mosul from the Iraqi army on June 10th and have been launching a multi-frontal offensive in South Kurdistan, Iraq and Rojava.

The clashes in Kirkuk occurred yesterday around Celewla in the district of Xaneqin. At least 18 ISIS fighters were killed in the fighting. According to reports from YNK Press Office the most violent fighting took place near El Tecnid. The peşmerge abroke an ISIS advance in the village of Beşir in the district district of Taze, killing 15 ISIS fighters and wounding at least 18.

Following the fighting the village was under the control of the peşmerge. In total Kurdistan peşmerge and polices forces suffered around 20 casualties. Among the wounded is reported to be Serhad Kadir,  the police commissioner for Kirkuk’s townships and outlying districts. It is unclear at this time how many of the casualties lost their lives.

Fighting Near Baghdad

The fighting in South Kurdistan follows major ISIS advances to the south. ISIS began an attack on the town of Babuka around 60km to the North East of Baghdad two nights ago. Meanwhile Iran has denied claims it has sent soldiers to help defend Iraq. The United States has declared it would not send soldiers to fight ISIS, but was considering other military options, such as airstrikes. Earlier this week the Pentagon ordered the USS George H.W. Bush, an American aircraft carrier, into the Gulf in responsive to ISIS’s push toward the capital.

UN Condemnation

The move comes upon growing condemnation of ISIS. Earlier this week the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay accused ISIS of committing numerous war crimes anc crimes agaisnt humanity.