In the early hours of 9 March 2015 to 0500hrs International Coalition Airstrikes targeted Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) positions South and West of Kirkuk. The airstrikes destroyed several ISIS positions armed with DShK heavy machine guns and at least 1 ISIS Humvee.
At 0600hrs Peshmerga forces initiated a ground-led offensive from two fronts to push the enemy back and diminish its ability to threaten the security of Kirkuk province.
By 1700hrs Peshmerga forces cleared over 100 square kilometres from ISIS control. This includes the following areas: Sultan Mer’i, Somail Awa, Multaqa, Mara, Dur Karaba, Sakhra, Wadi Neft, Boitr and the Mektab Khaled Bridge.
In addition, Peshmerga forces have successfully controlled the road between Mektab Khaled Bridge and Wadi Neft intersection – a key junction linking Mosul to Kirkuk, further disrupting the enemy’s freedom of movement. Furthermore, Peshmerga forces now control the strategic heights located immediately below Somail Awa.
In an effort to stop the rapid advance ISIS deployed 5 VBIEDs during the operation today – all 5 were repelled, with 4 destroyed by Peshmerga forces and 1 by a Coalition Airstrike.
Front-line reporting indicates that more than 100 ISIS terrorists were killed today. ISIS fighters fled the battlefield towards Hawija and abandoned dead bodies in the battlefield.
Counter-IED teams will continue to clear the area while Peshmerga forces fortify their positions.
Office of The Chancellor
Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC)