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Kurds Plan Counter-Offensive Against Islamic State - Reports

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Kurdish armed Peshmerga forces are planning to launch a counter-offensive against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq's north, Reuters reported on Monday, citing senior Kurdish officials.

MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - Kurdish armed Peshmerga forces are planning to launch a counter-offensive against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq's north, Reuters reported on Monday, citing senior Kurdish officials.

“We will attack them until they are completely destroyed, we will never show any mercy," the news agency quoted a Peshmerga colonel as saying.

"We have given them enough chance and we will even take Mosul back. I believe within the next 48-72 hours it will be over," the colonel said.

Earlier in the day, Reuters reported that Islamic State militants seized the town of Zumar in northern Iraq and a nearby oilfield Sunday after defeating Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, who largely control the area. Some 14 Kurdish military were killed as a result of a firefight, while about 100 people died and 38 were taken captive from the Islamic State.

According to earlier reports, Islamic State militants control most oil and gas fields in Iraq and Syria and sell crude oil to finance their network of activists in Damascus and Baghdad.

The Islamic State is a Sunni group that has been fighting in Syria against the country’s president, Bashar Assad. In June, the group launched an offensive in Iraq, taking over large parts of the country, with the goal of seizing Baghdad, and announced the establishment of a caliphate on the Iraq-Syria border.

The Islamist caliphate includes regions with Christians and other religious minorities.

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