MOSCOW, August 3 (RIA Novosti) – Islamic State militants seized the town of Zumar in the north of Iraq and the nearby oil field on Sunday after defeating Kurdish peshmerga fighters, who control the area, Reuters reported citing the witnesses.
Before the planned occupation, the militants warned the civilians in the area to leave their homes.
Earlier on Saturday Reuters reported that Kurdish forces managed to hold off the Islamic State insurgents attack and maintain the control over the town of Zumar and the nearby oil field. Then, as a result of a firefight, 14 Kurdish military were killed. On the attackers' side about 100 people died and 38 were taken captive.
According to the earlier reports, Islamic State militants control most oil and gas fields in Iraq and Syria and sell crude oil to finance the network of their activists in Damascus and Baghdad.
The Islamic State is a Sunni group that has been fighting in Syria against the country’s president, Bashar Assad, and launched an offensive in Iraq in June, taking over large parts of the country, with the goal of seizing Baghdad.
In June, militants from Islamic State announced establishing of a caliphate on Iraq-Syria border. The Islamist caliphate includes regions with Christians and other religious minorities.