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On Nov. 12, Kurdish troops led a ground offensive to take back the Iraqi town of Sinjar from the Islamic State. Backed by U.S. airstrikes, the siege to reclaim the strategic city is expected to take two to four days.

The ground offensive includes up to 7,500 Kurdish fighters, known as Peshmerga. According to the Kurdish Security Council, they have gained control of three villages.

In Aug. 2014, Sinjar was made into a symbol of Islamic State brutality when thousands of Yazidis, a small religious sect, were killed and women were forced into sexual slavery.

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