seven Peshmerga killed in ISIS attacks: ministry
Ten civilians and members of the Peshmerga forces were killed in attacks by Islamic State (ISIS) in the foothills of Qarachogh mountain, southwest of Erbil, late on Thursday, the ministry of Peshmerga said on Friday.

In a statement, the ministry of Peshmerga said ISIS militants attacked Khidr Jija village in the foothills of Qarachogh mountain at 10 p.m. on Thursday.

 “In this brutal attack, they blindly shot at the civil people of the village,” the ministry added.

Three civilians were “martyred” and a number of others were wounded in the attack, it stated.

Following the attack, the Peshmerga forces launched an operation to clear the area of the militants, according to the ministry.

 “One of the vehicles of the Peshmerga forces was ambushed by ISIS terrorists at that time,” it said.

 “Unfortunately, seven Peshmerga were martyred,” it added.

The ministry said the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi military should launch joint operations against the militants “very fast and without waiting”.

Qarachogh mountain, located 60 kilometers southwest of Erbil, has become a safe haven for ISIS militants since Iraqi forces alongside Kurdish forces retook control of areas were once under the control of ISIS.

ISIS militants have increased its attacks against the Peshmerga forces in the disputed territories.

They have carried out 5 attacks against the Peshmerga forces since last week.

Eight members of the Peshmerga forces were killed in the attacks in Kifri and Kulajo in Garmian administration, according to authorities.

Earlier this month, the militants carried out two attacks against the Peshmerga forces in the disputed areas.

On October 31, two members of the Peshmerga forces were killed in another ISIS attack near Pirde, south of Erbil.

The Peshmerga ministry said the militants continued to use a security gap between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces to attack the Peshmerga.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December 2017 but the militants have regrouped in the Hamrin mountain range which extends into the northern provinces – an area described by officials as a “triangle of death”.

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