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Iran's Shadow War on ISIS
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By News
Published 4 years ago on
November 20, 2019

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In the summer of 2014, with a campaign of shocking violence, the Islamic State established itself as the most fearsome terrorist organization in the Middle East.
In early June, the extremist group stunned the world by taking control of the Iraqi city of Mosul, home to more than 1.2 million people. Days later, ISIS fighters broadcast scenes from a gruesome massacre of more than 1,500 Iraqi army cadets at a former U.S. military base near Tikrit. By the end of the month, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had declared himself head of a new proto-state, the “caliphate,” as his fighters continued their genocidal rampage across northern Iraq, killing and enslaving members of the Yazidi minority and seizing Western hostages, among them an American journalist named James Foley.
As the international community groped for a response, ISIS fighters reached the borders of Iraqi Kurdistan, within striking distance of the glass high-rises of the bustling Kurdish capital, Erbil. It was there, from a dusty, remote Kurdish military base nicknamed “Black Tiger” outside the town of Makhmour, that ISIS was finally confronted by Kurdish Peshmerga in a battle that began to turn the tide against the extremists.

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