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

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.