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Iraqi Kurdish Forces Push Back Islamic State

Kurdish forces in northern Iraq say they've made fresh advances against Islamic State (IS) militants.

The Kurdistan region's security council said its peshmerga forces drove IS militants from an 84-square-kilometer area in northern Iraq over the weekend.

The council said in a statement on April 19 that at least 35 insurgents had been killed in the offensive south of Kirkuk.

The U.S.-led coalition said in a statement it had provided support including air strikes in support of the peshmerga forces during the offensive.

Last month, the peshmerga pushed the militants out of more than 100 square kilometers south and west of Kirkuk.

The Kurds took full control of Kirkuk last summer as IS overran the north of the country.

Kurdish leaders say they will never give up the ethnically mixed city, to which they, as well as Turkmen and Arabs, lay claim.

Based on reporting by Reuters