ISIS Attacks Near Erbil, Iraq, Repelled by Peshmerga: Kurds

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ISIS launched several waves of attacks in northern Iraq late Tuesday, engaging in close-quarters combat with Kurdish forces before being repelled by reinforcements and airstrikes, officials said.

The jihadis attacked from several directions near the towns of Gewr and Makhmour, southwest of Erbil, according to the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC). They were armed with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns.

The ISIS fighters were driven back by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, and at least 30 of their number were killed including an emir known as Abu Yaqin who was leading the attacks, the KRSC said in a statement.

By 3 a.m. local time on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET Tuesday), the Kurdish forces were in "complete control and forced ISIS fighters to flee and abandon dead bodies in the battlefield," the statement said.

Earlier, Kurdish and Iraqi officials told NBC News that Kurdish forces had suffered an unspecified number of causalities during the assault.

The KRSC statement added: "Recent gains by [Kurdish] Peshmerga forces in major offensives...have severally disrupted [ISIS'] freedom of movement and its ability send supplies and reinforcements."


- Ben Plesser