BAGHDAD, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Kurdish forces declared victory over the Islamic State on Friday on the second day of an operation to free the Iraqi city of Sinjar and cut off the militants' supply routes.
Up to 7,500 Peshmerga fighters, with aid from U.S.-backed coalition airstrikes, overwhelmed the militants, the Kurdistan Region Security Council said. The council said up to 100 militants were killed in the operation that choked off important supply roads from al Ba'aj to Sinjar.
"Control of these key ISIL supply routes will both reduce the ISIL's ability to reinforce its positions at Sinjar and, importantly, limit ISIL's freedom of movement between Iraq and Syria," t=the council said, referring to the militant group that also goes by ISIS and Daesh. "This will in turn allow the international coalition to increase its pressure on the ISIL."
The offensive to take back the key city, called Operation Free Sinjar, began with a series of airstrikes on Thursday. The Kurdish fighters fought back against the estimated 600 IS militants within Sinjar.
President Masoud Barzani, who heads the Iraqi Kurdish regional government, announced he will hold a press conference later Friday "to announce the success of operation."
Sinjar silo, cement factory, hospital and several public buildings now secured by brave Peshmerga. ISIL defeated and on the run. #FreeSinjar— KR Security Council (@KRSCPress) November 13, 2015