Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Kurdistan’s army troops ministry, Peshmerga, said Wednesday that at least 62 of its fighters remain missing since they were engaged in battles against Islamic State militants in Iraq.
The ministry said some of those fell in IS’s grip or died since the group emerged in 2014 to declare an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and took large areas of the country, Kahraman Kamal, deputy chief of the ministry’s staff, said in a statement. He said some others were killed but had their dead bodies in the group’s hold.
A latest count by the Peshmerga counted 1600 deaths among its fighters since it participated in the battles against the extremist group.
Islamic State members had previously executed some Peshmerga fighters for taking part in the battles.
The Iraqi government, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, launched an offensive in October to retake the city of Mosul, IS’s most outstanding stronghold in Iraq.
Since the launch of operations, there had been occasional spats between the governments in Baghdad and Erbil over the destiny of regions claimed by Kurdistan Region which Peshmerga forces retook from IS. While Baghdad urges to withdraw Peshmerga from those regions, some officials in Kurdistan occasionally said those territories would remain under Kurdish control.