ARBIL, Iraq, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- A senior Kurdish security official said Wednesday that some 1,000 fighters from the Kurdish security force, known as Peshmerga, were killed since the breakout of fighting against the Islamic State (IS) militant group in June.
"The latest toll of Peshmerga casualty between June 10 and Feb. 3, 2015 was the martyr of 999 and the wounding of 4,596," Jabbar Yawar, the Secretary General of the Peshmerga Ministry in the semi-autonomous region, told reporters at a press conference in Arbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan.
On December 10, a statement by the Kurdish regional military forces put the toll of the Peshmerga at 727 killed and 3,564 others wounded in battles against the IS since the extremist group started a blitzkrieg in June.
The Kurdish Peshmerga fought back the IS militants immediately after the al-Qaida offshoot swept country's northern province of Nineveh. The jihadist group later seized swathes of territories in other Sunni provinces, including disputed areas, after Iraqi security forces abandoned their posts.
The disputed areas are ethnically mixed with Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens and other minorities. The Kurds have demanded to expand their region in northern Iraq to include the oil-rich province of Kirkuk and other areas in the Iraqi provinces of Nineveh, Salahudin and Diyala, but their move is fiercely opposed by the government in Baghdad.