Apparently not contented to simply wait for the Iraqi forces in the area to finally reach Mosul and attack, ISIS has launched a surprising counterattack of their own, going after the oil rich city of Kirkuk in a series of attacks that killed at least 19 people.
ISIS targeted government buildings and the construction site where a power plant is being worked on in nearby Dibis, killing six police and 13 other workers. 12 ISIS were reported killed in the fighting, but clashes are ongoing. Kirkuk is presently under Kurdish control.
Kirkuk fell to the Kurdish Peshmerga at almost the same time that Mosul initially fell to ISIS. After Iraqi forces fled Mosul, reports of ISIS moving on Kirkuk next saw the Iraqi military scrambling away. The Peshmerga took its place, and the Kurdistan Regional Government promptly annexed Kirkuk.
Gunfire is still being reported in the area, and the city streets are described as mostly deserted, with people remaining indoors out of fear of sniper attacks. The size of the ISIS force in the area is unknown. ISIS has used counterattacks amid previous offensives to try to divide the attacking forces, though Mosul is the largest city they’ve ever had attacked, and Kirkuk is by extension the largest city they’ve ever counterattacked in such a manner.
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