Kurdish and Canadian troops repel IS advance near Mosul, Iraq

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |   Dec. 18, 2015 at 12:44 PM
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MOSUL, Iraq, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack on Kurdish forces and Canadian advisers north of Mosul, Iraq.

IS militants carried out the attacks on multiple locations starting Thursday afternoon and continuing through the night, Maj. Gen. Charles Lamarre, director of Canada's Strategic Joint Staff, said at a hastily convened briefing. It was the largest firefight the Canadian troops have been in, and Lamarre noted that the size of the IS force was surprising.

"It is the largest (attack) that the Canadian Forces training up north have been involved in. There was an element of surprise that ISIL brought to this," Lamarre said. He added there were no Canadian casualties, but the Kurdish forces sustained some injuries, and the IS militants were eventually pushed back.

Canadian CF-18 fighter jets were involved in the battle.

A statement by Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan noted, "Although the attackers were able briefly to penetrate KSF (Kurdish Security Forces) defensive positions, our forces played a role in advising and assisting the KSF to successfully launch a counter attack and re-establish defensive lines."

The Kurdish security council also reported the attack was successfully halted, adding that about 70 IS militants were killed and a number of IS vehicles were destroyed.

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