Kurdish Fighters Recapture Villages From Islamic State

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters recaptured three villages from Islamic State outside the oil-producing city of Kirkuk in a series of coordinated attacks that sought to roll back militant gains in northern Iraq.

Kurdish forces also clashed with militants inside Rabia, a town west of Mosul, the Islamic State stronghold in northern Iraq, according to Halgourd Hikmat, a Peshmerga spokesman.

“Peshmerga have retaken almost all parts” of Rabia, said Hikmat by phone from Erbil. The clashes were ongoing, he said.

The Peshmerga success follows advances by Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria that have forced tens of thousands of ethnic Kurds to flee their homes.

The clashes are taking place in a region where U.S.-led airstrikes are seeking to roll back the insurgents’ advance.

The U.S. and its European and Arab allies have conducted thousands of air missions over Iraq and Syria since beginning a bombing campaign to counter Islamic State.

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