Kurds Launch Assault to Retake Sinjar [VIDEO]

Kurdish Iraqi fighters, with the help of at least 20 U.S.-led airstrikes, launched an offensive early Thursday to reclaim the ISIS-held town of Sinjar. More than 7,500 Peshmerga fighters began an assault on the mountain town as part of an effort to retake it and cut off a strategic supply route for ISIS militants between Syria and Iraqโ€™s Mosul, according to a statement from the Kurdish Regional Security Council. A U.S. official close to the operation told The Daily Beast that hundreds of ISIS fighters had well-prepared defenses within Sinjar, and a fierce fight was expected. The aim of the push was also to establish โ€œa significant buffer zone to protect the city and its inhabitants from incoming artillery.โ€ ISIS seized control of Sinjar in August 2014, sending thousands of the minority Yazidi community to flee. Many were killed in the assault while hundreds were kidnapped and enslaved.