Kurdish Peshmerga forces attacked Islamic State insurgents in a cluster of villages in Iraq’s northern province of Kirkuk on Wednesday, bent on securing territory they have gained in the course of rolling back the jihadists since last summer.
The assault began overnight south of Daquq, a town about 175 km (108 miles) north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. The front line between the regional Kurdish peshmerga forces and Islamic State in northern Iraq has hardly budged for months.
The Kurds already control most of the territory they claim as their own, and have little incentive to push further into predominantly Sunni Muslim Arab towns and villages.
According to local sources Peshmerga recaptured 13 villages near Daquq district in southern Kirkuk Province on Wednesday.