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Kurdish fighters push into Sinjar town; Iraq forces battle Islamic State group for key airport

  • Iraqi Kurdish forces head to battle Islamic State militants, on the summit of Mount Sinjar, in Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. Iraqi Kurdish fighters pushed their way Sunday into the town of Sinjar, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State militants who captured the town last summer. Loud explosions and intense gunbattles were heard from inside the town. (AP Photo/Dalton Bennett)

    Iraqi Kurdish forces head to battle Islamic State militants, on the summit of Mount Sinjar, in Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. Iraqi Kurdish fighters pushed their way Sunday into the town of Sinjar, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State militants who captured the town last summer. Loud explosions and intense gunbattles were heard from inside the town. (AP Photo/Dalton Bennett)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iraqi Kurdish forces gather on the summit of Mount Sinjar as they head to battle Islamic State militants, in Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. Iraqi Kurdish fighters pushed their way Sunday into the town of Sinjar, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State militants who captured the town last summer. Loud explosions and intense gunbattles were heard from inside the town. (AP Photo/Dalton Bennett)

    Iraqi Kurdish forces gather on the summit of Mount Sinjar as they head to battle Islamic State militants, in Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. Iraqi Kurdish fighters pushed their way Sunday into the town of Sinjar, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State militants who captured the town last summer. Loud explosions and intense gunbattles were heard from inside the town. (AP Photo/Dalton Bennett)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iraqi Kurdish forces head to battle Islamic State militants, on the summit of Mount Sinjar, in Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. Iraqi Kurdish fighters pushed their way Sunday into the town of Sinjar, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State militants who captured the town last summer. Loud explosions and intense gunbattles were heard from inside the town. (AP Photo/Dalton Bennett)

    Iraqi Kurdish forces head to battle Islamic State militants, on the summit of Mount Sinjar, in Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. Iraqi Kurdish fighters pushed their way Sunday into the town of Sinjar, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State militants who captured the town last summer. Loud explosions and intense gunbattles were heard from inside the town. (AP Photo/Dalton Bennett)  (The Associated Press)

Kurdish fighters are pushing their way into the town of Sinjar, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State militants who captured the town last summer.

Loud explosions and intense gunbattles were heard from inside the town on Sunday.

Kurdish peshmerga fighters last week launched the operation to retake Sinjar and opened up a passageway to Mt. Sinjar, overlooking the town, to evacuate some of the thousands of Yazidis trapped on the mountain by the fighting.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi official says Iraqi forces were fighting Sunday to retake the Tal Afar military airport from the IS group. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to media.

The town of Tal Afar is to the east of Sinjar, strategically close to the Syrian border.