As a part of its agenda to make an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East, the ISIS has launched attacks on other minority groups such as the Kurds, the fourth largest ethnic group in the region that still lacks its own nation state .
This past Thursday, Kurdish forces launched a major offensive on the ISIS-held Iraqi town Sinjar in retaliation to ISIS’s immense expansion these past few years. The Islamic State captured Sinjar last year and has since killed and enslaved thousands of Yazidis, another religious minority that had been living in the area . Many Yazidis were trapped without food or water on the nearby Mount Sinjar until they were freed by Kurdish forces .
Due to these genocidal practices, the Kurdish forces have won the support of U.S. led coalition airstrikes . The Kurds have committed 7,500 Peshmerga fighters to this ground assault to combat the reported 600 IS militants occupying the city . They have made remarkable progress, capturing 80 percent of Sinjar that they failed to overtake in an earlier December attack, including several major roads in the area. The Kurds remain optimistic about their success but are still deterred by booby-traps, snipers, minefields and suicide bombers .
Winning Sinjar back is crucial for the Kurds because it is located 30 miles South of the Syrian border on one of ISIS’ most active supply lines . Hussein Derbo, the head of a Peshmerga battalion, said “It is our land and our honour. They [ISIS] stole our dignity. We want to get it back. ”
by Matthews Joy ’16