Sinan Adnan and ISW Iraq Team    – Key Takeaway:ISIS launched the largest attack on the Peshmerga of the Kurdish PUK in Kirkuk province since the fall of Mosul. The conventional ground assault was accompanied by asymmetric tactics such as SVESTs and VBIEDs supporting the attack. The areas where ISIS attacked represent the first lines of defense for Kirkuk and are also crucial because of their proximity to the North Oil Company oil fields. Given the extensive resources ISIS funneled into the Kirkuk attack, it is clear that this was the main effort with the possible intention to establish temporary positions that would then be used to launch further attacks toward Kirkuk. More Peshmerga forces will likely be deployed to this area in order to defend Kirkuk and protect this critical infrastructure. This attack, coupled with those that occurred west of Mosul, and in Samarra, Jalula, and Baghdad appear to have been an effort by ISIS to restore its momentum following its recent defeats in Diyala and west of Mosul. situation isw