A senior Kurdish military commander and eight Kurdish fighters have been killed in clashes with Islamic State militants in a battle outside the city of Kirkuk, the Associated Press said. Photo: Getty. Islamic State militants launched their biggest offensive yet outside Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk and tried to penetrate the city itself, part of a spate of brazen attacks by the extremist group against Kurdish forces across Iraq on Friday. A senior Kurdish commander, Brig. Gen. Sherko Fatih, was among at least six Kurdish forces killed in the surprise attack just after midnight outside the northern Iraqi city, officials said. As fighting raged outside the city, fighters from Islamic State, also known as ISIS, tried to break into the Kirkuk Palace Hotel after detonating a car bomb in front of the hotel, a rare incursion into the city center, officials said. Kirkuk Gov. Najmaldin Karim said Kurdish forces and local police […]