14:59 GMT +318 January 2020
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    Islamic State launched a major attack on the oil-rich city of Kirkuk Friday, killing a top commander of the Iraqi Kurdistan Peshmerga fighters.

    MOSCOW, January 30 (Sputnik) — The Islamic State (IS) militant group launched a major attack on the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk Friday, killing a top commander of the Iraqi Kurdistan Peshmerga fighters, the CNN reported.

    The IS took over the Maktab Khalid area, southwest of Kirkuk following heavy fighting with Kurds, killing Peshmerga Brig. Gen. Shirko Fateh and several troops.

    Fateh was the highest-ranking operational commander of the Peshmerga Kirkuk brigade.

    Local authorities told CNN that heavily armed militants also attacked a deserted hotel in central Kirkuk, used by police as a headquarters.

    A curfew was imposed in Kirkuk Friday, until further notice.

    The IS militant organization has taken control of large territories in northern Iraq, particularly in the oil-rich areas of Mosul, a source of revenue.

    The extremist group, known for its human rights atrocities, began fighting the Syrian government in 2012. The IS later expanded operations to Iraq, declaring a caliphate on territories under the group’s control.

    The Peshmerga fighters have been actively fighting the radical Islamist group, aided by airstrikes performed by the US-led coalition on IS targets in both countries.

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    Tags:
    Oil, Daesh, Jihadists, terrorism, war, kurds, peshmerga, airstrikes, United States, Mosul, Maktab Khalid, Kirkuk, Iraq
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