Kurdish fighters have pushed deeper into the flashpoint northwestern Iraqi town of Sinjar in their battle with the ISIL Takfiri militants, who have held sway over the area for months.
Bakhil Elias, a Kurdish fighter, said clashes overnight and on Monday between Peshmerga fighters and ISIL members for the control of Sinjar, located 420 kilometers (260 miles) northwest of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, have been “fierce” and that ISIL terrorists are using snipers.
Kurdish sources say at least two fighters have been killed and 25 others have sustained injuries during the latest round of heavy fighting with ISIL members.
The ISIL militants are reportedly burning tires and oil to create a smokescreen as part of their measures to slow down the progress of Kurdish Peshmerga forces and hamper US-led airstrikes against their positions.
On Sunday, loud explosions and intense gun battles could be heard as Peshmerga fighters advanced into the heart of Sinjar.
Peshmerga fighters managed to break the siege of Mount Sinjar in northwestern Iraq on December 18, and delivered aid to the Izadi Kurds who had been stranded in the area for months.
Peshmerga forces regained control of the Tal Afar Mountain in Iraq’s northwestern Nineveh Province from the ISIL Takfiri terrorists the following day.
At least seven villages and the strategic town of Zumar have reportedly been recaptured from ISIL as part of a major offensive to open a path from the Kurdistan region to Mount Sinjar.
The two-day operation by the Kurdish fighters, which involved 8,000 troops, was the largest so far against ISIL.
The ISIL terrorists control some parts of Syria and Iraq. They are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.
Since late September, the US and its allies have been conducting airstrikes against the ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
Washington has been also carrying out similar air raids against ISIL positions in Iraq since August. However, the raids have so far failed to dislodge the ISIL.