Mosul (Iraq), Nov 26: At least 43 members of the Islamic State (IS) Sunni radical group were killed in clashes with Peshmerga Kurdish troops near the strategic Mosul Dam near the northern Iraqi city by that name, a Kurdish leader said Wednesday.
The leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Gayaz al-Surji, told Efe news agency that a force of more than 500 IS fighters equipped with armoured vehicles and heavy weapons attacked Peshmerga troops in the towns of Sahrish, Eluan and Kerfer and near the Berkam Jazeera.
Al-Surji indicated that the US-led international coalition carried out airstrikes against IS jihadis who tried to take control of those areas in the Zemar district in a bid to regain control of the nearby dam.
The international coalition reported Tuesday that its aircraft launched more than 14 airstrikes on targets near the dam and on the city of Tel Afar, west of Mosul.
Al-Surji described the clashes as some of the bloodiest to date between Kurdish troops and IS jihadis.
Eleven Kurdish soldiers were wounded in the fighting, he said, and added that some of the wounded soldiers were hospitalised in serious condition in the Iraqi Kurdish province of Dohuk.
The Peshmerga forces regained control of the dam Aug 16 after it had been in jihadis' hands for 20 days.
Mosul Dam, Iraq's largest and the fourth largest in the Middle East, is located on the northern side of the Tigris river.