Kurdish forces push back against ISIS, reclaim occupied territory

As the international response against ISIS grows and takes affect, Kurdish forces from the semi-autonomous state of Kurdistan fought the terrorist group in northern Iraq on Tuesday.

An area in northern Iraq known as the Rabia district was the center of the fighting as Kurdish Peshmerga forces fought their way into the district before sunrise Tuesday.  Fighting around the district continued throughout the day and resulted in Peshmerga forces claiming the occupied territory.

The Rabia district has been under ISIS control since June after the initial sweep of ISIS forces through the area.  Rabia is in a strategic location as it has served as a route for ISIS fighters to move between Iraq and Syria easily, officials said according to the New York Times.  With Peshmerga forces taking control of this region, this could stifle ISIS troop movement between the countries.

Kurdish and Iraqi forces also fought ISIS on two other fronts within Iraq.

Zumar was the location of more fighting in northern Iraq, and this town is only 40 miles away from the strategic Mosul dam and city of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq.

Heavy fighting was also reported from the Daquq district, south of Kirkuk.  This area is home to a key transport line between Baghdad and the oil-rich land around Kirkuk.

Other villages in the area were reclaimed throughout the day of fighting too.

Kurdish General Westa Rasul told the International Business Times, “They have liberated the villages of Saad and Khaled. The Peshmerga have taken full control of the area, following fierce fighting.”

General Rasul also said the Peshmerga were continuing their push towards Kirkuk, but first planned on recapturing the town of Al-Wahda, which is about 20 miles from Kirkuk.

Two Peshmerga were reportedly killed while 18 others were injured throughout the day, according to the Raw Story.