Kurds launch offensive to retake IS-held Iraqi town Sinjar

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq says its paramilitary forces, backed by U.S.-backed coalition airstrikes, have launched an operation to recapture the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar from the Islamic State group.

A statement from the Kurdish Regional Security Council Thursday says some 7,500 peshmerga fighters are closing in on the mountain town from three fronts in an effort to take control of the town and cut off a strategic supply line used by the Islamic State militants. The statement also says the Kurds wish to establish “a significant buffer zone” to protect the city and its inhabitants from attack.

Earlier Thursday, intense airstrikes pounded Sinjar as various Kurdish militia groups made their way over the mountain to begin the offensive.


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