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Iraqi Kurdish forces attack IS positions near oil city of Kirkuk, say 25 militants killed

  • Kurdish troops known as peshmerga deploy during a military operation to regain control of some villages from Islamic State group fighters south of oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. (AP Photo)

    Kurdish troops known as peshmerga deploy during a military operation to regain control of some villages from Islamic State group fighters south of oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • An injured Kurdish officer is taken for treatment, as smoke rises during a military operation to regain control of some villages from Islamic State group fighters south of oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. (AP Photo)

    An injured Kurdish officer is taken for treatment, as smoke rises during a military operation to regain control of some villages from Islamic State group fighters south of oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Smoke rises from extremist positions during a military operation to regain control of some villages from Islamic State group fighters, south of oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. (AP Photo)

    Smoke rises from extremist positions during a military operation to regain control of some villages from Islamic State group fighters, south of oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

The Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq says its peshmerga forces have killed 25 Islamic State militants and cleared nine villages south of the northern oil city of Kirkuk in a new offensive.

A statement by the Kurdistan Regional Security Council says Wednesday's offensive began at dawn, involved 2,000 soldiers and enjoyed air support from a U.S.-led coalition.

The Kurdish region in northern Iraq has enjoyed self-rule since the end of the 1991 Gulf War. The regional government's peshmerga forces have been battling IS militants since the extremist group swept across much of the area as well as western Iraq in the summer of 2014.

The statement did not say whether there were peshmerga casualties.