Jihadists kill 14 Iraq Kurds in battle over dam, oil facility

AFP , Saturday 2 Aug 2014

Kurdish troops fought off a jihadist attack on an oil facility and a dam near the Iraqi city of Mosul but lost 14 of their number in intense combat, Kurdish sources said Saturday.

The Islamic State (IS), which controls the northern city, "attacked a peshmerga post in Zumar (Friday) and a fierce battle erupted," an official in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan told AFP.

He said 14 peshmerga fighters were killed, a toll confirmed by a senior officer in the Kurdish force.

The PUK official said the peshmerga killed "around 100" IS fighters and captured 38 in a battle that lasted several hours.

Zumar is a small Kurdish-majority outpost northwest of Mosul, which used to be under federal government control but was taken over by the peshmerga in June.

IS fighters, who had already been running large swathes of neighbouring Syria, launched a blistering offensive on June 9 that saw them capture Mosul, Iraq's second city, and move into much of the country's Sunni heartland.

Many government forces retreated in the face of the onslaught, and peshmerga troops seized the opportunity to fill the vacuum and seize long-coveted areas the Kurds were in dispute with Baghdad over.

Short link: