Some 7,500 peshmerga of Iraq's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) launched an assault against the Islamic State (IS) in Sinjar, Iraq, on Nov. 12. Jets from the US-led coalition have been carrying out heavy airstrikes for weeks in preparation for the operation. US officials estimate there are some 400 to 550 IS militants in the town.
Fighters affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) have positions in the city, but Kurdish peshmerga forces launching the offensive reportedly are not cooperating with them. If the drive to liberate the city is successful, recent history makes some wonder how aggressively various factions in the region would vie for influence in the strategic city.