Kurdish forces launched an operation to retake the town of Sinjar in northwest Iraq on Wednesday after coalition planes pounded Islamic State positions overnight, Kurdish officials said.

The peshmerga fighters made gains against IS throughout the day, the officials said, driving the militants out of at least eight sub-districts in the Zumar area, east of Sinjar.

If the peshmerga succeeded in recapturing the town, it would open up a corridor to Sinjar mountain, where hundreds of minority Yazidis have been besieged by IS militants since August. […]