In this Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 file photo, Yazidi fighters gather on the summit of Mount Sinjar as they head to battle ISIS militants, in Iraq. (AP/Dalton Bennett, File)
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The road to the battlefront plunges straight down the steep face of Mount Sinjar, whipped by a fierce wind.Over the past week, Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters have descended the mountain, battling to liberate the town of Sinjar, a tiny desert community in northern Iraq that the gunmen overran in August, massacring and enslaving hundreds of its residents.The peshmerga fighters inside piled out with the body of a fellow Kurdish fighter hit by a militant sniper's bullet.The body of the slain Kurdish fighter was driven back up the dizzying road to the summit of Mount Sinjar.Now, Iraqi Kurdish fighters are on an offensive to push back ISIS in this corner of Iraq near the Syrian border.On the serpentine road down the mountain face, a Kurdish team was parked on one of the switchbacks as the sun began to set Sunday.The Kurdish fighters spoke of foreign fighters among the ISIS forces they were battling.One peshmerga fighter named Mirwan helped liberate his hometown near Zumar, north of Sinjar, fighting off militants who had occupied his family home. The last ISIS fighter, when he ran out of bullets, blew himself up with explosives, though the Kurdish fighters were unscathed by the blast.
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