Iraqi kurds launch wide offensive to retake Sinjar

Kurdish Iraqi fighters provide an assault aiming to retake the strategic town of Sinjar from ISIS

Baku. 12 November. REPORT.AZ/ Kurdish Iraqi fighters, backed by the US-led air campaign, launched an assault aiming to retake the strategic town of Sinjar from the Islamic State (IS) group, Report informs referring to the foreign media.

It was overran last year in an onslaught that caused the flight of tens of thousands of Yazidis and first prompted the US to launch airstrikes against the militants.

The Kurdish Regional Security Council said some 7,500 peshmerga fighters are closing in on the mountain town from three fronts in an effort to take control and cut off a strategic supply line used by IS militants.

It said the Kurds wish to establish "a significant buffer zone to protect the city and its inhabitants from incoming artillery".

Peshmerga fighters and the militants exchanged heavy gunfire as the assault began.

The major objective of the offensive is to cut off one of IS's most active supply lines, Highway 47, which passes by Sinjar and indirectly links the militants' two biggest strongholds - Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in northern Iraq - as a route for goods, weapons and fighters.

Coalition-backed Kurdish fighters on both sides of the border are now working to retake parts of that corridor.

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