Iraq's Peshmerga forces have killed and captured dozens of "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) fighters trying to infiltrate into Syria, a Peshmerga commander announced Wednesday (August 30th).
They had fled the town of al-Ayadieh, north of Tal Afar, where fierce fighting is taking place to retake the last remaining ISIS foothold in Ninawa province.
The Peshmerga Forces’ 8th Battalion "has killed at least 130 ISIS terrorists and taken 12 others prisoners", said battalion commander Col. Luqman Ibrahim.
Nine of those who were taken captive are foreign fighters, mostly of Afghan and Chechen descent, he told Diyaruna.
He said that the militants had fled the fighting in al-Ayadieh, and were planning to infiltrate Syria through Sinjar to the north, and from there to Rabia district on the border strip between Iraq and Syria.
Peshmerga forces are deployed along the area stretching from Sinjar to Tal Afar to defend the cities and villages they liberated from ISIS in late 2015 in northern and north-western Ninawa.
"At first, we received intelligence that a group of ISIS terrorists were heading towards our barricades to attack them," Ibrahim said.
The militants were planning to breach Peshmerga fortifications in order to cross over into Syria, he said, as this escape route lies only 45 kilometres from al-Ayadieh.
"As soon as we received the information we got ready to fight," he said. "The fleeing terrorists arrived on Monday night and clashes erupted that ended in their defeat."
"When al-Ayadieh's liberation is complete, ISIS will have no inch of land left under its control within the borders of Ninawa province," Ibrahim said.