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Most recent 100 results returned for keyword: Fighting ISIS (Search this on MAP)

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Iraq Crisis Is Not Obama's Fault ..THERE'S A GROWING POLITICAL DEBATE OVER WHETHER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DESERVES BLAME FOR THE CHAOS There are lots of competing incentives for the ..Arms-to-Iraq...Churchill's Folly: How Winston Churchill Created Mode
The crisis in Iraq is tectonically important. Fighting between the Iraqi government and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (or, as it's abbreviated, ISIS) is tearing Iraq apart. The conflict has the potential to transform the politics of the broader Middle East.

It's also extremely complicated. So we've broken down the 11 most important things you need to know to understand the issue, starting from the beginning.

1. ISIS used to be called al-Qaeda in Irack
ISIS is, in a roundabout way, a product of the Iraq war.
It's essentially a rebooted version of al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Islamist group that rose to power after the American invasion. US troops and allied Sunni militias defeated AQI during the post-2006 "surge," but it didn't demolish them. The US commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, described the group in 2010 as down but "fundamentally the same." "What they want," the general continued, "is to form an ungoverned territory or at least pieces of ungoverned territory, inside of Iraq, that they can take advantage of."

In 2011, the group rebooted. ISIS successfully freed a number of prisoners held by the Iraqi government and, slowly but surely, began rebuilding their strength. The chaos today is a direct result of the Iraqi government's failure to stop them.

2. ISIS wants to carve out an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria

Their goal since being founded in 2004 has been remarkably consistent: found a hardline Sunni Islamic state. General Odierno again: "They want complete failure of the government in Iraq. They want to establish a caliphate in Iraq." Even after ISIS split with al-Qaeda in February 2014 (in large part because ISIS was too brutal even for al-Qaeda), ISIS' goal remained the same.

Today, ISIS holds a fair amount of territory in both Iraq and Syria — a mass roughly the size of Belgium. One ISIS map, from 2006, shows its ambitions stopping there — though interestingly overlapping a lot of oil fields:
Another shows their ambitions stretching across the Middle East, and some have apparently even included territory in North Africa:
Now, they have no chance of accomplishing any of these things in the foreseeable future. ISIS isn't even strong enough to topple the Iraqi or Syrian governments at present. But these maps do tell us something important about ISIS: they're incredibly ambitious, they think ahead, and they're quite serious about their expansionist Islamist ideology.
3. ISIS thrives on tension between Iraq's two largest religious groups
Marwan Ibrahim/AFP/Getty Images
Perhaps the single most important factor in ISIS' recent resurgence is the conflict between Iraqi Shias and Iraqi Sunnis. ISIS fighters themselves are Sunnis, and the tension between the two groups is a powerful recruiting tool for ISIS.
The difference between the two largest Muslim groups originated with a controversy over who got to take power after the Prophet Muhammed's death, which you can read all about here. But Iraq's sectarian problems aren't about relitigating 7th century disputes; they're about modern political power and grievances.
A majority of Iraqis are Shias, but Sunnis ran the show when Saddam Hussein, himself Sunni, ruled Iraq. The civil war after the American invasion had a brutally sectarian cast to it, and the pseudo-democracy that emerged afterwards empowered the Shia majority (with some heavy-handed help from Washington). The point is that the two groups don't trust each other, and so far have competed in a zero-sum game for control over Iraqi political institutions.
So long as Shias control the government, and Sunnis don't feel like they're fairly represented, ISIS has an audience for its radical Sunni message. That's why ISIS is gaining in the heavily Sunni northwest.
4. The Iraqi government has made this tension worse by persecuting Sunnis and through other missteps

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shia Muslim, has built a Shia sectarian state and refused to take steps to accommodate Sunnis. Police have killed peaceful Sunni protestors and used anti-terrorism laws to mass-arrest Sunni civilians. ISIS cannily exploited that brutality to recruit new fighters.

WHEN ISIS REESTABLISHED ITSELF, IT PUT SUNNI SECTARIANISM AT THE HEART OF ITS IDENTITY AND PROPAGANDA

When ISIS reestablished itself, it put Sunni sectarianism at the heart of its identity and propaganda. The government persecution, according to the Washington Institute for Near East Studies' Michael Knights, "played right into their hands." Maliki "made all the ISIS propaganda real, accurate." That made it much, much easier for ISIS to replenish its fighting stock.

That wasn't the only way the Iraqi government helped ISIS grow, according to Knights. The US and Iraqi governments released a huge number of al-Qaeda prisoners from jail, which he thinks called "an unprecedented infusion of skilled, networked terrorist manpower - an infusion at a scale the world has never seen." US forces were running sophisticated raids "every single night of the year," and Knights believes their withdrawal gave ISIS a bit more breathing room.

5. ISIS raises money like a government

Unlike some other Islamist groups fighting in Syria, ISIS doesn't depend on foreign aid to survive. In Syria, they've built up something like a mini-state: collecting the equivalent of taxes and selling electricity to fund its militant activities.

My colleague Max Fisher has an in-depth breakdown of how they managed to do this, which includes extorting money from humanitarian workers and selling electricity to the Syrian government that it's currently fighting.

There are two important takeaways here. First, as Max explains, these clever revenue bases have made ISIS much more effective on the battlefield than other militant groups:

This money goes a long way: it pays better salaries than moderate Syrian rebels or the Syrian and Iraqi professional militaries, both of which have suffered mass desertions. ISIS also appears to enjoy better internal cohesion than any of its state or non-state enemies, at least for the moment.

Second, it makes the idea that ISIS' near-term goal is to hold Iraqi oil and power facilities more credible. Some reports suggest they've restarted oil fields in eastern Syria. If that's true, then ISIS isn't just a strong military force: they're also smartly laying the economic groundwork to accomplish their dream of an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria.

6. Iraq has another major ethno-religious group, the Kurds, who could matter in this fight

Kurds are mostly Sunnis, but they're ethnically distinct from Iraqi Arabs. They control a swath of northeast Iraq where a lot of the oil fields lie, and are something of a wild card in the conflict between the Iraqi government and ISIS.

Iraqi Kurdistan in northeast Iraq is governed semi-autonomously. The Kurdish security forces are partly integrated with the government, but there's somewhere between 80,000 and 240,000 Kurdish peshmerga (militias) who don't answer to Baghdad. They're well equipped and trained, and represent a serious military threat to ISIS.

You'll notice that Mosul is inside the dotted lines of territory under defacto Kurdish control. Indeed, according to Knights, Kurdish security forces control eastern parts of the city. More broadly, Iraqi Kurdistan borders ISIS territory at a number of different points.

So far, there hasn't been any major conflict between the Kurds and ISIS. The Kurds have taken advantage of the chaos to occupy Kirkuk, a city near massive oil deposits that they've wanted for some time. That means the crisis has been, in a strange way, a boon to the Kurds — provided that they can remain out of the fighting.

7. The Syria conflict has made ISIS much stronger

The crisis in Syria is one of the most important reasons why ISIS grew capable of mounting such an effective attack on the Iraqi government. To see why, take a look at this map from March, paying special attention to the blue ISIS-controlled areas in eastern Syria:
The chaos in Syria allowed ISIS to hold this territory pretty securely. This is a big deal in terms of weaponry and money. "The war gave them a lot of access to heavy weaponry," Michael Knights said. ISIS also "has a funding stream available to them because of local businesses and the oil and gas sector."

It's also hugely important as a safe zone. When fighting Syrian troops, ISIS can safely retreat to Iraq; when fighting Iraqis it can go to Syria. Statistical evidence says these safe "rear areas" help insurgents win: "one of the best predictors of insurgent success that we have to date is the presence of a rear area," Jason Lyall, a political scientist at Yale University who studies insurgencies, said.

8. Mosul, the big city ISIS recently conquered, is really important — and ISIS has spread out from there

Mosul is the second-largest city in Iraq, second only to Baghdad. It's the capital of the northwester Ninevah province, and fairly close to major oilfields. The Mosul Dam, according to McClatchy, plays an important role in the country's water supply. ISIS conquered most of Mosul on June 10th, and it's unclear when the Iraqi army will make a serious play to take it back.

Since then, ISIS has moved out to other parts of northern and central Iraq, including Saddam Hussein's hometown Tikrit and the significant oil town Baiji. Here's a good map of where things stood on June 12th, and how far ISIS is from Iraq's biggest oil fields:

Securing America's Future Energy

As Brad Plumer explains elsewhere on Vox, ISIS' gains threaten one important oil pipeline that ships to Turkey, but not the broader oil infrastructure. Right now, then, ISIS controls a significant part of Iraq's territory, but hasn't yet majorly threatened the industry that makes up 95 percent of Iraq's GDP.

9. Iran is already involved, and this conflict could get much bigge

The Iranian government is Shia, and it has close ties with the Iraqi government. Much like in Syria, Iran doesn't want Sunni Islamist rebels to topple a friendly Shia government. So in both countries, Iran has gone to war.

THESE IRANIAN TROOPS OUTCLASS ISIS ON THE BATTLEFIELD

Iran has sent two battalions of Iranian Revolutionary Guards to help Iraq fight ISIS. These aren't just any old Iranian troops. They're Quds Force, the Guards' elite special operations group. The Quds Force is one of the most effective military forces in the Middle East, a far cry from the undisciplined and disorganized Iraqi forces that fled from a much smaller ISIS force in Mosul. One former CIA officer called Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani "the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today." Suleimani, the Journal reports, is currently helping the Iraqi government "manage the crisis" in Baghdad.

These Iranian troops outclass ISIS on the battlefield. According to the Wall Street Journal, combined Iranian-Iraqi forces have already retaken about 85 percent of Tikrit. That alone demonstrates the military significance of Iranian intervention: Iraqi forces have previously floundered in block-to-block city battles with ISIS.

IRANIAN INTERVENTION COULD ALSO HELP ISIS IN ITS QUEST TO BUILD SUPPORT AMONG IRAQ'S SUNNIS

However, Iranian intervention could also help ISIS in its quest to build support among Iraq's Sunnis. The perception that the Iraqi government is far too close to Iran is already a significant grievance among Sunnis. That's part pure sectarianism and part nationalism. Many Iraqis don't like the idea of a foreign power manipulating their government, particularly Iran (memories of the Iran-Iraq war haven't faded).

So Iranian participation in actual combat risks legitimizing ISIS' propaganda line: this isn't a conflict between the central Iraqi government and Islamist rebels, but rather a war between Sunnis and Shias.

Here's one other scary thought. Iran is now helping both the Iraqi and Syrian governments fight largely Sunni rebels. What happens if the two battlefields get joined?

10. The Iraqi Army is much larger than ISIS, but also a total mess
ISIS cannot challenge the Iraqi government for control over the country. On a basic level, it's simple math. A rough count of ISIS' fighting strength suggests it has a bit more than 7,000 combat troops, and it can occasionally grab reinforcements from other extremist militias. The Iraqi army has 250,000 troops, plus armed police. That Iraqi military also has tanks, airplanes, and helicopters. ISIS can't make a serious play for the control of Baghdad, let alone the south of Iraq, without a serious risk of getting crushed.

But the Iraqi army is also a total mess, which explains why ISIS has had the success it's had despite being dramatically outnumbered.

TAKE ISIS' VICTORY IN MOSUL: 30,000 IRAQI TROOPS RAN FROM 800 ISIS FIGHTERS

Take ISIS' victory in Mosul. 30,000 Iraqi troops ran from 800 ISIS fighters. Those are 40:1 odds! Yet Iraqi troops ran because they simply didn't want to fight and die for this government. There had been hundreds of desertions per month for months prior to the events of June 10th. The escalation with ISIS is, of course, making it worse.

Sectarianism also plays a role here. The Iraqi army is mixed Sunni-Shia, and "it appears that the Iraqi Army is cleaving along sectarian lines," Yale's Jason Lyall said. "The willingness of Sunni soldiers to fight to retake Mosul appears limited." This makes some sense out of the Mosul rout: some Sunni Muslims don't really want to fight other Sunnis in the name of a government that oppresses them.

This suggests a natural limit to ISIS' expansion. Mosul is a mostly Sunni city, but military resistance will be much stiffer in Shia areas. ISIS needs to stick to Sunni land if it doesn't want to overreach.

11. Iraq may secretly want American drone strikes, and Obama may be considering

Multiple reports say the Iraqi government has quietly requested American military aid in the form of drone strikes against ISIS. Let's assume those are correct. Will Obama say yes?

That's not 100 percent clear. So far, there's no evidence that the administration is leaning towards strikes. But in a press conference about Iraq, Obama didn't rule them out.

THERE'S A GROWING POLITICAL DEBATE OVER WHETHER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DESERVES BLAME FOR THE CHAOS

There are lots of competing incentives for the president on this issue. His administration has always touted withdrawal from Iraq as a major accomplishment, but it also (rightly or wrongly) sees drone strikes as a highly effective way of fighting extremist groups like ISIS. The administration is skittish about siding with a repressive creep like Maliki, but it has already publicly committed to assisting the Iraqi army in as-yet unannounced ways.

There's also a growing political debate over whether the Obama administration deserves blame for the chaos. Some conservative critics say Obama should have convinced Iraq to allow him to leave a residual force of American troops to conduct raids on ISIS. The administration's defenders say that would have been impossible, and probably wouldn't have prevented this regardless.

So, to recap. Iraq has essentially just began another civil war, and it's totally unclear how long it's going to last or how it's going to end. And no one's sure what to do about it.


The Arms-to-Iraq affair concerned the uncovering of the government-endorsed sale of arms by British companies to Iraq, then under the rule of Saddam Hussein. The scandal contributed to the growing dissatisfaction with the Conservative government of John Major and may have contributed to the electoral landslide for Tony Blair's Labour Party at the 1997 general election. The whole affair also highlighted the weakness of the constitutional convention of individual ministerial accountability.


Churchill's Folly: How Winston Churchill Created Modern Iraq Paperback
by Christopher Catherwood (Author)
Following the first Gulf War of 1991 there was interest in the extent to which British companies had been supplying Saddam Hussein's administration with the materials to prosecute the war. Four directors of the British machine tools manufacturer, Matrix Churchill, were put on trial for supplying equipment and knowledge to Iraq, but in 1992 the trial collapsed, when it was revealed that the company had been advised by the government on how to sell arms to Iraq. Several of the directors were eventually paid compensation.
Matrix Churchill
Classified documents released at the trial indicate that Britain violated the embargo in an effort to keep the country's machine-tool industry, including Matrix Churchill, whose managing director Paul Henderson had been working unpaid for British intelligence for 15 years, in business.
—The Economist (1992)[3]
Matrix Churchill was an engineering company based in Coventry, with expertise in both the design and manufacture of precision machine tools. Established in 1913 by Walter Tattler and his brother in law Sir Harry Harley, the company had its origins in gauge and tool manufacture, the original company being known as Walter Tattler Ltd..

In 1989, as the result of a debt settlement, it was acquired by "Iraqi interests" for nothing. New directors were appointed including two who worked for the Iraqi security services and the company began shipping components for Saddam Hussein's secret weapons programme.[4] According to the International Atomic Energy Authority, its products found in Iraq were among the highest quality of their kind in the world. They were "dual use" machines that could be used to manufacture weapons including artillery shells and parts for medium range missiles.

As one of the other directors claimed to have been working for the British intelligence services, the Ministry of Defence advised Matrix Churchill on how to apply for export licences of materials that could be used to make munitions in such a way that would not attract attention. When Alan Clark admitted under oath that he had been "economical with the actualité" in answering questions about the policy on arms exports to Iraq, the trial collapsed and triggered the Scott Inquiry, which reported in 1996.

This case also raised the issue of public interest immunity, the process by which information believed to be highly sensitive is kept outwith the public domain. In order to prevent information being public the relevant government minister must issue a public interest immunity certificate.
Did Churchill Have the Right Idea About Iraq?
by Shannon Monaghan
Shannon Monaghan studies history at Yale University and writes for the History News Service.

On Sept. 1, 1922, Great Britain's colonial secretary, the man responsible for the administration of the British presence in Iraq, wrote a scathing letter to his Prime Minister on the miserable state of that country and Britain's interests there. He closed his letter with these crushing lines:

"At present we are paying eight millions [in] pounds Sterling a year [the equivalent of half a billion dollars today] for the privilege of living on an ungrateful volcano out of which we are in no circumstances to get anything worth having."

The name of that colonial secretary? Winston Churchill.

The phrase "history repeats itself" is overused; the greater tragedy is that in this instance the cliche is entirely appropriate. President Bush appears to think that he can somehow escape the lessons that the past can teach us and that history will treat his misadventure in Iraq well. Experience does not bode well for his hopes.

By 1922, Churchill had no such illusory hopes about Iraq. In fact, he declared the task of managing the country "impossible."

Little has changed since Churchill came to that sobering conclusion. Like those who would today challenge the American president on Iraq, Churchill paid a price for his view. His prime minister severely rebuked him, and refused to allow even the notion of withdrawal to be brought before his cabinet. It took Great Britain ten years more of harsh lessons before it finally granted that nation its independence.

In making his case to Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Churchill argued that Britain's course of action in Iraq was a waste - a waste of money, effort, time and political capital. The difficulties with Britain's stance that Churchill emphasized are those that the American public faces day after day, month after month, year after year.

Churchill declared the Arab officials of Iraq's British-backed King Feisal "incompetent." He noted the gross over-expenditure of monies in the region by the British government, which "it is almost certain Iraq will not be able to pay." Furthermore, he lamented that "no progress has been made in developing the oil." He was worried about British troops and desperately concerned about increased Turkish influence in the region and a potential Turkish invasion. He insisted that "there is scarcely a single newspaper . . . which is not consistently hostile to our remaining in this country."

In fact, Churchill strongly advocated immediately removing the British presence in Iraq if the provisional Iraqi government did not co-operate. Furthermore, he pointed out that in Britain the party had "no political strength to face disaster of any kind," and that the British public's opinion of the situation was so poor that a newly formed government at home would have to order "instant evacuation" to gain immediate support. After reciting at length this litany of failures, Churchill crisply stated, "Altogether, I am getting to the end of my resources."

One need only to turn on the news to realize that the United States is futilely struggling with the very same problems that Churchill struggled with - and more. The U.S. government and its military leaders cannot find a solution to the problems besetting the Iraqi government, the development and allocation of the country's oil, the influence of Iran and other countries in the region and sectarian violence. U.S. military forces face unrelieved dangers. Public opinion at home has soured on the war. Americans, like Britons in Churchill's day, have reached the end of their resources.

Ironically, Bush declared in 2004 that "I've always been a great admirer of Sir Winston Churchill, admirer of his career, admirer of his strength, admirer of his character -- so much so that I keep a stern-looking bust of Sir Winston in the Oval Office." If the President so admires Churchill, he should heed that great man's warnings about involvement in Iraq and remove American troops from that nation now.


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Flickr Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV

When a team of less than a dozen U.S. military advisers came under attack in Iraq Tuesday from more than 100 ISIS fighters, Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV was part of the force sent in to rescue them.

All the advisers made it back. Keating, a decorated combat veteran and star athlete who decided to enlist after the 9/11 attacks

Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV gave life rescuing others from ISIS

Keating was an adviser to Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting ISIS
The U.S. responded with F-15s and drones that dropped more than 20 bombs
The Arizona native came from a long line of devoted service members
(CNN)When a team of less than a dozen U.S. military advisers came under attack in Iraq Tuesday from more than 100 ISIS fighters, Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV was part of the force sent in to rescue them.

All the advisers made it back. Keating, a decorated combat veteran and star athlete who decided to enlist after the 9/11 attacks, did not.

Providing new details Wednesday about the operation that took the life of the grandson of prominent financier and World War II pilot Charles Keating Jr., Coalition spokesman Col. Steve Warren said that the clash between ISIS and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces the advisers were assisting was "a big fight, one of the largest we've seen recently."
Keating's death is the third American combat loss since the U.S. redeployed forces to Iraq in the summer of 2014 to advise local forces and conduct Special Operations missions against ISIS. The 31-year-old Special Warfare Operator 1st Class was on his third tour in Iraq.

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Flickr Abdullah, a member of The Free Syrian Army, this smile never leaves his face.
Tags: world   poverty   street   people   love   home   smile   youth   children   army   happy   rebel   hope   freedom   war   truth   flickr   peace   humanity   russia   faith   hard   documentary   free   games   victory   neighborhood   story   help   human   civil   rights   weapon   revolution   syria   conflict   government   brave   fighters   russian   damascus   generation   hezbollah   regime   forces   siege   rebels   fsa   syrian   revo   survive   civilians   dimashqi   daryya   
Abdullah, a young man in his twenties, is a member of The Free Syrian Army, this smile never leaves his face.


People of Syria trusted the Free Syrian Army (rebels) to protect them from Assad's Regime, and to free Syria from his dirty control.
And now the FSA is fighting ISIS, Hezbollah and Assad's regime which is supported by Russia and Iran.


Daryya on 8\1\2016

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Flickr FSA's Training
Tags: world   people   home   army   hope   freedom   war   flickr   peace   iran   humanity   russia   g   military   south   hard   documentary   free   battle   human   civil   rights   revolution   area   syria   conflict   fighters   damascus   hezbollah   regime   forces   rebels   fsa   syrian   assad   revo   civilians   dimashqi   
Fighters from the Free Syrian Army during training in the South of Damascus.


Civilians trusted the Free Syrian Army to free Syria from Assad's Regime, and now the FSA is fighting isis, Hezbollah and assad's regime which is supported by Russia and Iran.


The good thing is that they allowed us to take pictures of them.


South of Damascus
13/11/2015

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Flickr French Carrier Returns To Fight ISIS

via John Currin (JC - Ex RNZN) - Google+ Public Posts ift.tt/1LSPi5T

French Carrier Returns To Fight ISIS

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Flickr Two old friends (L-R) Navajo Pk. 13,409' / Navajo Glacier/ and Apache Pk. 13,441' climbed 29 years ago with a great friend, scratch golfer and all-weather companion via Navajo Glacier Route. Dickers Peck visible immediately right of Navajo-top of glacier

Washington's Al Qaeda ISIS Freedom Fighters from 911 do Libya:
*******************************************************************************************
Washington’s Al Qaeda Ally Now Leading ISIS in Libya

By Eric Draitser

Global Research, March 10, 2015
New Eastern Outlook
Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: NATO'S WAR ON LIBYA

The revelations that US ally Abdelhakim Belhadj is now leading ISIS in Libya should come as no surprise to those who have followed US policy in that country, and throughout the region. It illustrates for the umpteenth time that Washington has provided aid and comfort to precisely those forces it claims to be fighting around the world.
According to recent reports, Abdelhakim Belhadj has now firmly ensconced himself as the organizational commander of the ISIS presence inside Libya. The information comes from an unnamed US intelligence official who has confirmed that Belhadj is supporting and coordinating the efforts of the ISIS training centers in eastern Libya around the city of Derna, an area long known as a hotbed of jihadi militancy.
While it may not seem to be a major story – Al Qaeda terrorist turns ISIS commander – the reality is that since 2011 the US and its NATO allies have held up Belhadj as a “freedom fighter.” They portrayed him as a man who courageously led his fellow freedom-lovers against the “tyrannical despot” Gaddafi whose security forces at one time captured and imprisoned many members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), including Belhadj.

Belhadj served the US cause in Libya so well that he can be seen receiving accolades from Sen. John McCain who referred to Belhadj and his followers as heroes. He was initially rewarded after the fall of Gaddafi with the post of military commander of Tripoli, though he was forced to give way to a more politically palatable “transitional government” which has since evaporated in that chaotic, war-ravaged country.

Belhadj’s history of terrorist activity includes such “achievements” as collaboration with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq, and of course his convenient servitude to the US-NATO sponsored rampage across Libya that, among other things, caused mass killings of black Libyans and anyone suspected of being part of the Green Resistance (those loyal to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya led by Gaddafi). Although the corporate media tried to make a martyr of Belhadj for his alleged torture via the CIA rendition program, the inescapable fact is that wherever he goes he leaves a violent and bloody wake.

While much of this information is known, what is of paramount importance is placing this news in a proper political context, one that illustrates clearly the fact that the US has been, and continues to be, the major patron of extremist militants from Libya to Syria and beyond, and that all talk of “moderate rebels” is merely rhetoric designed to fool an unthinking public.

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend…Until He Isn’t

There is ample documented evidence of Belhadj’s association with Al Qaeda and his terrorist exploits the world over. Variousreports have highlighted his experiences fighting in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and he himself has boasted of killing US troops in Iraq. However, it was in Libya in 2011 where Belhadj became the face of the “rebels” seeking to topple Gaddafi and the legal government of Libya.

As the New York Times reported:

The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was formed in 1995 with the goal of ousting Colonel Qaddafi. Driven into the mountains or exile by Libyan security forces, the group’s members were among the first to join the fight against Qaddafi security forces… Officially the fighting group does not exist any longer, but the former members are fighting largely under the leadership of Abu Abdullah Sadik [aka Abdelhakim Belhadj].

So, not only was Belhadj a participant in the US-NATO war on Libya, he was one of its most powerful leaders, heading a battle-hardened jihadist faction that constituted the leading edge of the war against Gaddafi. Nowhere was this more clearly demonstrated than when the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) took the lead in the attack on Gaddafi’s compound at Bab al-Aziziya. In this regard, LIFG was provided intelligence, and likely also tactical support, from US intelligence and the US military.

This new information about Belhadj’s association with the suddenly globally relevant ISIS certainly bolsters the argument that this writer, among many others, has made since 2011 – that the US-NATO war on Libya was waged by terrorist groups overtly and tacitly supported by US intelligence and the US military. Moreover, it dovetails with other information that has surfaced in recent years, information that shines a light on how the US exploited for its own geopolitical purposes one of the most active terrorist hotbeds anywhere in the world.


According to the recent reports, Belhadj is directly involved with supporting the ISIS training centers in Derna. Of course Derna should be well known to anyone who has followed Libya since 2011, because that city, along with Tobruk and Benghazi, were the centers of anti-Gaddafi terrorist recruitment in the early days of the “uprising” all through the fateful year of 2011. But Derna was known long before that as a locus of militant extremism.

In a major 2007 study entitled “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records” conducted by the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point, the authors noted that:

Almost 19 percent of the fighters in the Sinjar Records came from Libya alone. Furthermore, Libya contributed far more fighters per capita than any other nationality in the Sinjar Records, including Saudi Arabia… The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qa’ida which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qa’ida on November 3, 2007…The most common cities that the fighters called home were Darnah [Derna], Libya and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with 52 and 51 fighters respectively. Darnah [Derna] with a population just over 80,000 compared to Riyadh’s 4.3 million, has far and away the largest per capita number of fighters in the Sinjar records.

And so, the US military and intelligence community has known for nearly a decade (perhaps longer) that Derna has long been directly or indirectly controlled by jihadis of the LIFG variety, and that that city had acted as a primary recruiting ground for terrorism throughout the region. Naturally, such information is vital if we are to understand the geopolitical and strategic significance of the notion of ISIS training camps associated with the infamous Belhadj on the ground in Derna.

This leads us to three interrelated, and equally important, conclusions. First, Derna is once again going to provide foot soldiers for a terror war to be waged both in Libya, and in the region more broadly, with the obvious target being Syria. Second is the fact that the training sites at Derna will be supported and coordinated by a known US asset. And third, that the US policy of supporting “moderate rebels” is merely a public relations campaign designed to convince average Americans (and those in the West generally) that it is not supporting terrorism, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

The Myth of ‘Moderate Rebels’

The news about Belhadj and ISIS must not be seen in a vacuum. Rather, it should be still further proof that the notion of “moderates” being supported by the US is an insult to the intelligence of political observers and the public at large.

For more than three years now, Washington has trumpeted its stated policy of support to so-called moderate rebels in Syria – a policy which has at various times folded such diverse terror groups as the Al Farooq Brigades (of cannibalism fame) and Hazm (“Determination”) into one large “moderate” tent. Unfortunately for US propagandists and assorted warmongers however, these groups along with many others have since voluntarily or forcibly been incorporated into Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS/ISIL.

Recently, there have been many reports of mass defections of formerly Free Syrian Army factions to ISIS, bringing along with them their advanced US-supplied weaponry. Couple that with the “poster boys” for Washington policy, the aforementioned Hazm group, now having become part of Jabhat al Nusra, the Al Qaeda linked group in Syria. Of course these are only a few of the many examples of groups that have become affiliated with either the ISIS or Al Qaeda brand in Syria, including Liwaa Al-Farouq, Liwaa Al-Qusayr, and Liwaa Al-Turkomen to name just a few.

What has become clear is that the US and its allies, in their unending quest for regime change in Syria, have been overtly supporting extremist elements that have now coalesced to form a global terror threat in ISIS, Nusra, and Al Qaeda.

But of course, this is nothing new, as the Belhadj episode in Libya demonstrates unequivocally. The man who was once Al Qaeda, then became a “moderate” and “our man in Tripoli,” has now become the leader of the ISIS threat in Libya. So too have “our friends” become our enemies in Syria. None of this should surprise anyone.

But perhaps John McCain would like to answer some questions about his long-standing connections with Belhadj and the “moderates” in Syria. Would Obama like to explain why his “humanitarian intervention” in Libya has become a humanitarian nightmare for that country, and indeed the whole region? Would the CIA, which has been extensively involved in all of these operations, like to come clean about just who they’ve been supporting and what role they’ve played in fomenting this chaos?

I doubt any such questions will ever be asked by anyone in the corporate media. Just as I doubt any answers will ever be furnished by those in Washington whose decisions have created this catastrophe. So, it is for us outside the corporate propaganda matrix to demand answers, and to never let the establishment suppress our voices…or the truth.

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City, he is the founder of StopImperialism.org and OP-ed columnist for RT, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
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(AP) Congress sends ISIS weapons and CIA air support on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays labeling them CIA's "Syrian Freedom Fighters."

That is Wall Street's corporate terrorist takeover of Syria's elected government called "regime change." Destruction of the WTC on 911 was CIA's permanent domestic regime change, the historic domestic CIA terrorist masterpiece. That mass-murder of 3000-plus US citizens employed CIA's same terrorist "Muslim" portfolio. CIA's corporate takeover has proven itself wildly lucrative.

But on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends CIA's same ISIS terrorists are ISIS -Al Qaeda multi-taskers videotaping beheading propaganda for Wall Street media terror-casts worldwide. "Shockingly" flexible CIA US taxpaid terrorists empower Barry Cheney and Johnny McCain, Hillary, Jeb and Johnny Boner Wall Street's domestic mil-corp terrorists.

That is how Wall Street's whore government invents Wall Street media "consent" for multi-billion cash contracts sent by Israel's "US" corporate congress of whores from The United States of Israel 100% cashed from your pockets.

Our 911 treason presidents, the Israeli-whore-congress and Mafia supreme corp thugs must pay the Saudi terrorist army de jour ISIS-AlQaeda. They are merely CIA's daily evolved re-invented terrorist labels...new media yellow-stickies pasted over Islamic faces. They are all Wall Street's CIA contract terrorists, each of whom is a Pentagon-CIA terrorist asset....

...except at those strategic media moments when CIA re-labels its identical terrorists as Barry-Hillary-Jeb-Boner's "Syrian Freedom Fighters!"

Multi-tasking the terrorists creates CIA's flexible atrocities as needed to propagandize, stimulate fear-rage and therefor further bloat Pentagon-CIA's world-terrorizing budgets.

That is Pentagon "freedom" that inspires the BS that you salute from terror-manufacturing-media...especially Clint Eastwood's sacred ox "war heroes." sniff-sniff.

Pentagon mesaage loud and clear: Be obedient terrorized kiddies -Piss your pants and keep signing blank checks. -RT
*****************************************************************************
The Relationship between Washington and ISIS: The Evidence
By Prof. Tim Anderson

Global Research, March 08, 2015
Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: 9/11 & 'War on Terrorism', Media Disinformation, US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: IRAQ REPORT, SYRIA: NATO'S NEXT WAR?

Reports that US and British aircraft carrying arms to ISIS have been shot down by Iraqi forces have been met with shock and denial in western countries. Few in the Middle East doubt that Washington is playing a ‘double game’ with its proxy armies in Syria, but some key myths remain important amongst the significantly more ignorant western audiences.

A central myth is that Washington now arms ‘moderate Syrian rebels’, to both overthrow the Syrian Government and supposedly defeat the ‘extremist rebels’. This claim became more important in 2014, when the rationale of US aggression against Syria shifted from ‘humanitarian intervention’ to a renewal of Bush’s ‘war on terror’.

A distinct controversy is whether the al Qaeda styled groups (especially Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS) have been generated as a sort of organic reaction to the repeated US interventions, or whether they are actually paid agents of Washington.

Certainly, prominent ISIS leaders were held in US prisons. ISIS leader, Ibrahim al-Badri (aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) is said to have been held for between one and two years at Camp Bucca in Iraq. In 2006, as al-Baghdadi and others were released, the Bush administration announced its plan for a ‘New Middle East’, a plan which would employ sectarian violence as part of a process of ‘creative destruction’ in the region.

According to Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, ‘The Redirection’, the US would make use of ‘moderate Sunni states’, not least the Saudis, to ‘contain’ the Shia gains in Iraq brought about by the 2003 US invasion. These ‘moderate Sunni’ forces would carry out clandestine operations to weaken Iran and Hezbollah, key enemies of Israel. This brought the Saudis and Israel closer, as both fear Iran.

While there have been claims that the ISIS ‘caliph’ al-Baghdadi is a CIA or Mossad trained agent, these have not yet been well backed up. There are certainly grounds for suspicion, but independent evidence is important, in the context of a supposed US ‘war’ against ISIS . So what is the broader evidence on Washington’s covert links with ISIS?

Not least are the admissions by senior US officials that key allies support the extremist group. In September 2014 General Martin Dempsey, head of the US military, told a Congressional hearing ‘I know major Arab allies who fund [ ISIS ]‘. Senator Lindsey Graham, of Armed Services Committee, responded with a justification, ‘They fund them because the Free Syrian Army couldn’t fight [Syrian President] Assad, they were trying to beat Assad’.

The next month, US Vice President Joe Biden went a step further, explaining that Turkey, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia ‘were so determined to take down Assad … they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad … [including] al Nusra and al Qaeda and extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world … [and then] this outfit called ISIL’. Biden’s admissions sought to exempt the US from this operation, as though Washington were innocent of sustained operations carried out by its key allies. That is simply not credible.

Washington’s relationship with the Saudis, as a divisive sectarian force in the region, in particular against Arab nationalism, goes back to the 1950s, when Winston Churchill introduced the Saudi King to President Eisenhower. At that time Washington wanted to set up the Saudi King as a rival to President Nasser of Egypt. More recently, British General Jonathan Shaw has acknowledged the contribution of Saudi Arabia’s extremist ideology: ‘This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education. Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really. And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money’, Shaw said.

Other evidence undermines western attempts to maintain a distinction between the ‘moderate rebels’, now openly armed and trained by the US, and the extremist groups Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS. While there has indeed been some rivalry (emphasised by the London-based, Muslim Brotherhood-aligned, Syrian Observatory of Human Rights), the absence of real ideological difference is best shown by the cooperation and mergers of groups.

As ISIS came from Iraq in 2013, its Syrian bases have generally remained in the far eastern part of Syria. However Jabhat al Nusra (the official al Qaeda branch in Syria, from which ISIS split) has collaborated with Syrian Islamist groups in western Syria for several years. The genocidal slogan of the Syrian Islamists, ‘Christians to Beirut and Alawis to the Grave’, reported many times in 2011 from the Farouk Brigade, sat well with the al Qaeda groups. Farouk (once the largest ‘Free Syrian Army’ group) indeed killed and ethnically cleansed many Christians and Alawis.

Long term cooperation between these ‘moderate rebels’ and the foreign-led Jabhat al-Nusra has been seen around Daraa in the south, in Homs-Idlib, along the Turkish border and in and around Aleppo. The words Jabhat al Nusra actually mean ‘support front’, that is, support for the Syrian Islamists. Back in December 2012, as Jabhat al Nusra was banned in various countries, 29 of these groups reciprocated the solidarity in their declaration: ‘We are all Jabhat al-Nusra’.

After the collapse of the ‘Free Syrian Army’ groups, cooperation between al Nusra and the newer US and Saudi backed groups (Dawud, the Islamic Front, the Syrian Revolutionary Front and Harakat Hazm) helped draw attention to Israel’s support for al Nusra, around the occupied Golan Heights. Since 2013 there have been many reports of ‘rebel’ fighters, including those from al Nusra, being treated in Israeli hospitals. Prime Minister Netanyahu even publicised his visit to wounded ‘rebels’ in early 2014. That led to a public ‘thank you’ from a Turkey-based ‘rebel’ leader, Mohammed Badie (February 2014).

The UN peacekeeping force based in the occupied Golan has reported its observations of Israel’s Defence Forces ‘interacting with’ al Nusra fighters at the border. At the same time, Israeli arms have been found with the extremist groups, in both Syria and Iraq. In November 2014 members of the Druze minority in the Golan protested against Israel’s hospital support for al Nusra and ISIS fighters. This in turn led to questions by the Israeli media, as to whether ‘ Israel does, in fact, hospitalize members of al-Nusra and Daesh [ISIS]‘. A military spokesman’s reply was hardly a denial: ‘In the past two years the Israel Defence Forces have been engaged in humanitarian, life-saving aid to wounded Syrians, irrespective of their identity.’

The artificial distinction between ‘rebel’ and ‘extremist’ groups is mocked by multiple reports of large scale defections and transfer of weapons. In July 2014 one thousand armed men in the Dawud Brigade defected to ISIS in Raqqa. In November defections to Jabhat al Nusra from the Syrian Revolutionary Front were reported. In December, Adib Al-Shishakli, representative at the Gulf Cooperation Council of the exile ‘ Syrian National Coalition’, said ‘opposition fighters’ were ‘increasingly joining’ ISIS ‘for financial reasons’. In that same month, ‘rebels’ in the Israel-backed Golan area were reported as defecting to ISIS, which had by this time began to establish a presence in Syria’s far south. Then, in early 2015, three thousand ‘moderate rebels’ from the US-backed ‘Harakat Hazzm’ collapsed into Jabhat al Nusra, taking a large stock of US arms including anti-tank weapons with them.

ISIS already had US weapons by other means, in both Iraq and Syria , as reported in July, September and October 2014. At that time a ‘non aggression pact’ was reported in the southern area of Hajar al-Aswad between ‘moderate rebels’ and ISIS, as both recognised a common enemy in Syria: ‘the Nussayri regime’, a sectarian way of referring to supposedly apostate Muslims. Some reported ISIS had bought weapons from the ‘rebels’.

In December 2014 there were western media reports of the US covert supply of heavy weapons to ‘Syrian rebels’ from Libya, and of Jabhat al-Nusra getting anti-tank weapons which had been supplied to Harakat Hazm. Video posted by al-Nusra showed these weapons being used to take over the Syrian military bases, Wadi Deif and Hamidiyeh, in Idlib province.

With ‘major Arab allies’ backing ISIS and substantial collaboration between US-armed ‘moderate rebels’ and ISIS, it is not such a logical stretch to suppose that the US and ‘coalition’ flights to ISIS areas (supposedly to ‘degrade’ the extremists) might have become covert supply lines. That is precisely what senior Iraqi sources began saying, in late 2014 and early 2015.

For example, as reported by both Iraqi and Iranian media, Iraqi MP Majid al-Ghraoui said in January that ‘an American aircraft dropped a load of weapons and equipment to the ISIS group militants at the area of al-Dour in the province of Salahuddin’. Photos were published of ISIS retrieving the weapons. The US admitted the seizure but said this was a ‘mistake’. In February Iraqi MP Hakem al-Zameli said the Iraqi army had shot down two British planes which were carrying weapons to ISIS in al-Anbar province. Again, photos were published of the wrecked planes. ‘We have discovered weapons made in the US , European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL’s control in Al-Baqdadi region’, al-Zameli said.

The Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz saying that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province. Also in February an Iraqi militia called Al-Hashad Al-Shabi said they had shot down a US Army helicopter carrying weapons for the ISIL in the western parts of Al-Baqdadi region in Al-Anbar province. Again, photos were published. After that, Iraqi counter-terrorism forces were reported as having arrested ‘four foreigners who were employed as military advisors to the ISIL fighters’, three of whom were American and Israeli. So far the western media has avoided these stories altogether; they are very damaging to the broader western narrative.

In Libya, a key US collaborator in the overthrow of the Gaddafi government has announced himself the newly declared head of the ‘Islamic State’ in North Africa. Abdel Hakim Belhaj was held in US prisons for several years, then ‘rendered’ to Gaddafi’s Libya, where he was wanted for terrorist acts. As former head of the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, then the Tripoli-based ‘Libyan Dawn’ group, Belhaj has been defended by Washington and praised by US Congressmen John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

Some image softening of the al Qaeda groups is underway. Jabhat al-Nusra is reported to be considering cutting ties to al Qaeda, to help sponsor Qatar boost their funding. Washington’s Foreign Affairs magazine even published a survey claiming that ISIS fighters were ‘surprisingly supportive of democracy’. After all the well published massacres that lacks credibility.

The Syrian Army is gradually reclaiming Aleppo, despite the hostile supply lines from Turkey, and southern Syria, in face of support for the sectarian groups from Jordan and Israel. The border with Lebanon is largely under Syrian Army and Hezbollah control. In the east, the Syrian Army and its local allies control most of Hasaka and Deir e-Zour, with a final campaign against Raqqa yet to come. The NATO-GCC attempt to overthrow the Syrian Government has failed.

Yet violent destabilisation persists. Evidence of the covert relationship between Washington and ISIS is substantial and helps explain what Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mikdad calls Washington’s ‘cosmetic war’ on ISIS. The extremist group is a foothold Washington keeps in the region, weakening both Syria and Iraq . Their ‘war’ on ISIS is ineffective. Studies by Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgent database show that ISIS attacks and killings in Iraq increased strongly after US air attacks began. The main on the ground fighting has been carried out by the Syrian Army and, more recently, the Iraqi armed forces with Iranian backing.

All this has been reported perversely in the western media. The same channels that celebrate the ISIS killing of Syrian soldiers also claim the Syrian Army is ‘not fighting ISIS’. This alleged ‘unwillingness’ was part of the justification for US bombing inside Syria. While it is certainly the case that Syrian priorities have remained in the heavily populated west, local media reports make it clear that, since at least the beginning of 2014, the Syrian Arab Army has been the major force engaged with ISIS in Hasaka, Raqqa and Deir eZour. A March 2015 Reuters report does concede that the Syrian Army recently killed two ISIS commanders (including Deeb Hedjian al-Otaibi) along with 24 fighters, at Hamadi Omar.

Closer cooperation between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon’s Hezbollah is anathema to Israel, the Saudis and Washington, yet it is happening. This is not a sectarian divide but rather based on some clear mutual interests, not least putting an end to sectarian (takfiri) terrorism.

It was only logical that, in the Iraqi military’s recent offensive on ISIS-held Tikrit, the Iranian military emerged as Iraq’s main partner. Washington has been sidelined, causing consternation in the US media. General Qasem Suleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force is a leading player in the Tikrit operation. A decade after Washington’s ‘creative destruction’ plans, designed to reduce Iranian influence in Iraq, an article in Foreign Policy magazine complains that Iran’s influence is ‘at its highest point in almost four centuries’.

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Liberals Still Trying to Save Obama From ‘Crusades’ Idiocy After Jindal Slapdown
by John Hayward7 Feb 2015685

Obama: 'People Commit Terrible Deeds In the Name Of Christ'

Dear liberals: Please stop trying to save President Obama from the idiotic remarks he made about the Crusades and moral equivalence at the National Prayer Breakfast.

The Republican governor of Louisiana put it quite nicely in his response:

“It was nice of the President to give us a history lesson at the Prayer breakfast,” said Bobby Jindal. “Today, however, the issue right in front of his nose, in the here and now, is the terrorism of Radical Islam, the assassination of journalists, the beheading and burning alive of captives. We will be happy to keep an eye out for runaway Christians, but it would be nice if he would face the reality of the situation today. The Medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President. Please deal with the Radical Islamic threat today.”

On the other hand, hearing liberals defend Obama is annoying, and those who are doing so should know this: you’re making fools of yourselves over something you should let go. He was wrong – absolutely, completely, and dangerously wrong. He casually and callously insulted Christians in a lazy attempt to reinforce his ideological blindness to Islamist terror. He once again tried to position himself, and his bankrupt ideology of a morally superior State, above all the religions of the world – lumping the one that did the Crusades a thousand years ago into the same basket as the one cited for authorizing the burning alive of a man in a cage last week. (When I say Obama’s ideology is bankrupt, I mean that quite literally.)

He made the kind of lazy, historically ignorant argument that would have gotten him kicked off the debate team at a decent high school. As the New York Times reported, the comment was basically an ad-lib Obama threw in at the last minute. There’s nothing worth defending here, loyal Obama worshipers. You’re tending barren ground and hoping for flowers to bloom because your man’s shadow once fell there.

One of the really annoying things about Obama’s thoughtless remarks is that he gave marching orders to an army of online pinheads to start nattering about the Crusades and the Inquisition again. Left-wing Twitter solons are depositing 140-character effusions claiming that the horrors of al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the army of “lone wolves” wreaking havoc around the world in their name are perfectly balanced out by that one guy who shot up a Sikh temple in Wisconsin two years ago. Sensible people are wasting valuable time explaining to sweaty Obama supporters that the Westboro Baptist Church, as objectionable as they might be, has not tortured or murdered anyone, much less seized territory through military conquest and set up a theocracy.

Also, Obama apologists would do well to pause and consider that the response of contemporary Christians to the occasional crime or outrageous statement made in the name of their faith undermines Obama’s flaccid argument, rather than bolstering it. You folks are on much better ground babbling about 12th-century history you’re only dimly aware of. Unfortunately, even that ground is quicksand. The worst thing you can do when you step into quicksand is thrash around blindly. Let this one go, kids. It was an incredible blunder on Obama’s part, an outrage you can only save him from by hoping that more sensible people forget he said it.

Of course, Obama’s remaining supporters lack the capacity for such restraint or reflection, and they went nuts when Jindal reminded us that the threat from medieval Christian knights was pretty much under control, so it would be nice if Obama would focus on the monsters who are crucifying people, burning them alive, burying them alive, and taking slaves right now.

Jindal’s comments were fighting words to the bent-pinky set, so we’re now we’re getting tortured screeds asserting that Obama’s critics are wrong to “defend” the Crusades by recalling their history with accuracy. As they have done so often before, liberal op-ed writers are concocting elaborate theories of what Obama “really meant,” detecting all sorts of studied critiques floating beneath the blunt stupidity and bigotry of his actual words.

Most amusingly, some of the people who respond to atrocities like the Charlie Hebdo massacre by musing that maybe the Islamists have a point, and free speech should be restrained by a Heckler’s Veto to avoid offending the many and delicate sensibilities of Muslims, are trying to cover for Obama by calling Christians thin-skinned for taking offense to his Crusade and Inquisition slander. C’mon, folks, all he did was insinuate that you’re permanently guilty, for the rest of eternity, for what European knights did in the 13th century. He told you to get off your “high horse” and stop criticizing Islam’s violent tendencies, because who knows – you Christians could all come boiling out of your bake sales tomorrow and launch a new Crusade or something. What are you being so touchy about?

Obama’s speech is actually yet another illustration of the double standard: mocking, impugning, insulting, and hectoring Christians and Jews is totally fine, because everything they do about it is verbal. Let’s see Obama get up in front of a Muslim audience and lecture them about the Islamic aggression that actually began the Crusades. He’d never dream of doing that in a million years, but he’s happy to casually throw in a couple of lines in a speech to the National Prayer Breakfast hectoring Christians. He’d never dream of discussing the way modern slavers like ISIS and Boko Haram are citing Islamic verse right this minute to justify slavery, and he’s not even slightly interested in discussing the immense contribution Christian faith made to ending the slave trade in the West, but he’s happy to score a cheap shot against Christians by dragging out Jim Crow for the zillionth time, while conveniently forgetting to mention what they did to end slavery and discrimination.

To their shame, liberals like Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine are still trying to prop Obama up. Chait’s still trying to sell Obama’s stale talking point that he’s the brilliant Man in the Middle who says provocative things that make both sides angry, so he must be doing something right – as if the most radically left-wing President in modern history really thinks “government can overreach.” Yes, Chait actually says that:


Barack Obama’s method of persuasion involves conceding his opponent’s most justified grievances in order to locate common ground. When Obama does this with Republicans, by acknowledging that government can overreach, he irritates liberals. When he does this in the context of acknowledging American historical failures to other countries whose behavioral improvements he is urging, he angers Republicans, who depict him as an unpatriotic apologist. That vein of resentment has taken on religious overtones, as Obama appeared before a National Prayer Breakfast and, in the service of denouncing Islamic extremism, acknowledged that Christians, too, have historically been capable of using religion to justify extremism and violence.

“Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Obama’s point, as I understand it, is that the prevalence of Islamic extremism does not reflect a tendency of violence inherent in the Muslim religion, but rather specific historical, economic, and social conditions in the Muslim world today. This argument places Obama in strong opposition to elements of the left, which often embraces a form of relativism that refuses to acknowledge the disproportionately violent quality of Muslim extremism today.

See what I mean about inventing a phantom speech that’s much less stupid than what Obama actually said? Chait argues the President was trying to make some sophisticated point about how Muslims are not all inclined to violence – possibly the most worn-out, understuffed straw man in the entire rhetorical arsenal, a banal observation that lightweights think makes them look smarter than the imaginary hordes of reactionary bigots who believe every single Muslim in the world is a potential terrorist.

Chait also thinks Obama made his silly comments about the Crusades and Inquisition as a rebuke to atheist liberals, because what Obama Really Meant was that all religions are roughly equally violent, including Islam. Newsflash, Mr. Chait: Barack Obama’s entire foreign policy, his every public utterance, is based on “refusing to acknowledge the disproportionately violent quality of Muslim extremism today.” He never tires of claiming that none of the violent types are actually Islamic, and none of their deeds has anything to do with the Muslim faith, no matter how often the head-choppers quote Koranic verses. It’s the first thing he says after every fresh head rolls.

In fact, Obama has actually asserted that Muslims are less likely to commit violence than anyone else. “ISIL’s actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own,” the President declared after the beheading of hostage Peter Kassig, using the Muslim name Kassig adopted after he converted to Islam in captivity.

And yet, no matter how hard the likes of Jonathan Chait refuse to hear it, Obama expressly describes the Crusades and Inquisition as immoral real estate owned wholly and completely by Christians – not even just the specific branch of Christianity directly involved with them, but all Christians, everywhere – and the lease still hasn’t expired centuries later.

Most sensible people are laughing at these tools for going back 500 to 1,000 years and looking for something they think is roughly equivalent to what al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, and the rest of that crew are doing today, because it makes them look ridiculous, and it disproves the argument they’re trying to make. Chait even comes close to acknowledging that by admitting that “at one historical time, Christian extremism posed a far larger problem than Muslim extremism,” but “at the present time, the reverse is true.”

Gee, that seems kinda relevant, don’t you think, Mr. Chait? A little tidbit of information that makes the entire rest of your argument collapse into a pile of dust? We might venture to guess that Christianity has changed in rather significant ways since those ancient times, while Islam hasn’t changed enough, might we not? I can bury you under evidence for the latter part of that proposition; what have you got to dispute the former?

There we have the essential point of this dispute, and the reason why decent people should be angry at Obama and his defenders, not laughing at their foolishness: they don’t think Christianity has changed. The only way their argument makes a lick of sense is that modern Christians remain interested in Crusades and Inquisitions, or at least sympathetic to them. Chait actually makes the latter argument when he idiotically asserts that people who insist on accurately recounting the history of the Crusades are “right wing American Christian chauvinists” who are out to “defend” them. Apparently liberals think accurate history is chauvinistic, and remembering events properly connotes approval, while all Good People prefer to believe in false narratives and history butchered down to easily digested Tweet-friendly memes like “innocent peaceful Muslims minding their own business when evil Crusaders attack for no reason.”

Another thing liberals don’t understand, because they’re so eager to revise history to fit their ideological narratives, is that recounting historical events with some degree of sympathy in context doesn’t mean you approve of them today. The Crusades were as horrible as any other medieval war. A historian who explains how they were launched in response to Muslim aggression is not calling for a medieval war today. Such a historian is not saying that he, personally, would launch the Crusades right now. But that’s the assertion made by linking the Crusades to modern Christianity as a reason for Christians to get off their “high horse” and stop expressing concerns about modern Islam’s violent tendencies.

No matter how hard Obama apologists try to dance around this point, the one and only reason to bring up the Crusades and Inquisition, in a discussion of current events involving Muslims, is to assert that Christianity today is really no different than Christianity then. The only faith that really “evolves,” ever, is Obama’s Religion of the State. That’s why he threw Jim Crow in there – modern leftists never want to acknowledge the role Christian faith played in the civil-rights movement. They want to claim it as entirely an achievement of their secular ideology.

“I know that crusading fervor isn’t essential to the Christian religion; it is historically contingent, and the crusading moment in Christian history came and, after two hundred years or so, went,” writes Michael Walzer in a piece Chait cites as “entirely brilliant” and floats as a phantom of inspiration for What Obama Really Meant. “Saladin helped bring it to an end, but it would have ended on its own. I know that many Christians opposed the Crusades; today we would call them Christian ‘moderates.'”

No, you colossal fools, today we would call them “normal Christians.” There is no pro-Crusades wing eager to saddle up and conquer the Middle East. There is no comparison to be made between Christianity in 2015 and the mix of politics and religion in 1215. Once that point is conceded, everything else from Barack Obama’s offensive attempt at moral equivalence before the National Prayer Breakfast evaporates into meaningless hot air.

Chait ends his pompous article by explicitly insulting Bobby Jindal as a medieval Christian, a Crusader wannabe: “In a prepared statement, Jindal rebukes Obama, ‘The Medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President.’ It’s true – as long as Jindal is out of the White House.” It’s still true even if Bobby Jindal is in the White House, you bigot.

One other thing about this idiocy from Obama and his dead-enders… There is one group of people in the world conspicuously noted for claiming that Christians remain incipient Crusaders: the enemy we’re fighting. ISIS, al-Qaeda, and all the rest of them prattle on endlessly about the Crusades, and how the Western world is still run by Crusaders. They did it again just yesterday, in the statement where they claimed American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller was killed in a Jordanian airstrike: “The criminal Crusader coalition aircraft bombarded a site outside the city of Raqqa today at noon while the people were performing the Friday prayer.” What Obama said at the National Prayer Breakfast is very close to reciting enemy propaganda. The last thing the world needs right now is high-ranking Western officials agreeing with ISIS that the Crusades still offer relevant insights into the Christian mind.

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Flickr Kobane, IS conflict
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Kobane, Syria. 26 December 2014: Father and daughter are both fighters of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG – YPJ) in the Syrian besieged border town of Ain al-Arab also named Kobanê.
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Flickr Devastation in Kobane
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Kobane, Syria: 21/12/2014 View on the destruction in Kobanê, the streets are rubble filled, big part of the city is desolation. They called “Stalingrad" pictured on 21 December 2014 in the Syrian besieged border town of Ain al-Arab also named Kobanê. Jonathan Raa / Nurphoto
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Flickr Kobane, IS conflict
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Armed fighters of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) gather on a roof top before fighting against Islamic State (IS)
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Flickr Kobane, IS conflict
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Armed fighters of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) gather on a roof top before fighting against Islamic State (IS)
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Flickr Kobane, IS conflict
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Kobane, Syria. 21 December 2014: Armed fighters of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) gather on a roof top before fighting against Islamic State (IS) in the Syrian besieged border town of Ain al-Arab
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Flickr Kobane, IS conflict
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Female fighter of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) are seen during a break, after a night fighting against Islamic State (IS)
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Flickr Kobane, IS conflict
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fighter of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) holds a position, during fighting against Islamic State (IS) in the Syrian besieged border town of Ain al-Arab also named Kobanê.
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Flickr Kobane, IS conflict
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Kobane, Syria. 21 December 2014: female fighter of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPJ) is seen during fighting against Islamic State (IS)
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Flickr pêşmerge
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Some days ago, we talked about this hero, today he was martyred in Zumar while doing his job in cleaning out the place from ‪#‎ISIS‬ planted bombs
You are world's HERO


گەلێکم بیستووە پەستی و بڵندی دەوڵەتتان ، ئەمما
جیهان نەیدیووە پەستی وا ، میسـاڵی حاڵی کوردان
زۆر به‌داخه‌وه‌ ئه‌مرۆ شه‌هید بوونی به‌رێز عقید فاخر به‌رواری زۆر كاری تێكردم ، كاكه‌ فاخر ته‌نها پێشمه‌رگه‌یه‌ك نه‌بوو بۆ رووبه‌روبونه‌وه‌ی داعش به‌ڵكو پاڵه‌وانێك بوو كه‌ رۆژانه‌ هه‌زاران بۆمبی چێنراوی پوچه‌ڵ ده‌كردوه‌ ئه‌و زیاتر له‌ هه‌موو دایك و باوكێك دڵسۆز تر بوو بۆ نیشتیمان ، ئه‌و ماڵ به‌ماڵی ناوچه‌ ئازاد كراوه‌كان ده‌گه‌را و گیانی خۆی فیدای رۆڵه‌كانی كوردستان ده‌كرد ، له‌ هه‌رجێگایه‌ك بۆمبێك هه‌بووایه‌ ئه‌و له‌وێ ده‌بوو بۆ پوچه‌ڵكدنه‌وه‌ی به‌ گیانی خۆی 50 ملیۆن هاونیشتبمانی پاراست ، ان شاءالله جێگای به‌هه‌شتی به‌رین ده‌بیت

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Flickr Kobanî
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‎God's angels fighting against the #earth's monsters. Victory of humans against non-humans

دوژمنێ مە یەکە.... وەرن ئەم ژی تەڤ ببنە یەک
Dujminê me yeke..... werin em jî tev bibne yek

i see victory from your eyes..
Pshmerga kurdistan fight against Islamic State militants


بيشمةركةكانمان لة سةنكةرةكاني بةركري لة خاكي بيرؤزي كوردستان .


peshmerga will be known around the world and they watch how peshmerga will Stop IS!

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Flickr Lest We Forget .... Freedom Is Never Free
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.... Canadians have fought in World War One, World War Two, The Korean War, War In Afghanistan & currently fighting ISIS in Iraq ....
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Flickr Baghdad Road Highway, Kirkuk, Kurdistan Iraq
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Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

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Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
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Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

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Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga Holding 1960 Kalashnikov On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
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Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   togetherness   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   adult   flag   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   males   fullframe   groupofpeople   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   kalashnikov   puk   menonly   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   5people   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146759   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Shelter On The Frontline In Front Of Daesh Army, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   surveillance   military   iraq   middleeast   nobody   battle   nopeople   security   conflict   taza   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   kurdishethnicity   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146703   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: sunset   people   color   men   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   adult   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   males   rearview   fullframe   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   kalashnikov   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   unrecognisableperson   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146692   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: sunset   people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   desert   adult   surveillance   military   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   males   groupofpeople   taza   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   kalashnikov   puk   menonly   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   unrecognisableperson   5people   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146685   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   desert   adult   surveillance   military   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   copyspace   fullframe   taza   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   scenics   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146666   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga With A Hand Grenade On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   security   conflict   males   isis   operating   crisis   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   unrecognizableperson   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146641   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga Calling On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   communication   indoors   mobilephone   conflict   males   fullframe   taza   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146595   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas Veterans On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   indoors   weapon   conflict   males   groupofpeople   taza   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   fourpeople   kirkuk   kalashnikov   puk   menonly   4people   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146592   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga Praying Before Going To The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   vertical   soldier   army   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   islam   iraq   religion   middleeast   culture   battle   security   indoors   conflict   tradition   fullframe   groupofpeople   taza   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   fourpeople   kirkuk   puk   4people   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146545   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Kid On A Tank, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   child   force   tank   risk   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   transportation   conflict   males   fullframe   taza   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   unrecognisableperson   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146500   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga Tank Pilot On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   vertical   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   tank   risk   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   transportation   conflict   males   fullframe   taza   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146487   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   tank   risk   adult   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   males   rearview   taza   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   kalashnikov   puk   menonly   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   unrecognisableperson   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146439   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   adult   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   males   rearview   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   menonly   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   threequarterlength   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146402   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   adult   flag   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   groupofpeople   taza   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   puk   menonly   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146398   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   desert   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   groupofpeople   taza   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   machinegun   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   puk   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146365   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas Veterans On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   security   conflict   males   veteran   groupofpeople   isis   operating   crisis   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   senioradult   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   threequarterlength   5people   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146345   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga Veteran Shooting On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   60s   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   copyspace   taza   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   kalashnikov   puk   senioradult   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146257   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   horizontal   closeup   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   security   headshot   conflict   isis   operating   crisis   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   militaryuniform   lookingatcamera   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   waistup   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146242   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas Veterans On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   headscarf   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   males   groupofpeople   taza   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   keffiyeh   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   menonly   senioradult   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   5people   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146154   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas Veteran Showing A Wound On His Neck, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   headscarf   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   males   scar   groupofpeople   taza   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   keffiyeh   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   fourpeople   kirkuk   puk   menonly   4people   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   waistup   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146137   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   men   horizontal   closeup   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   60s   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   serious   military   muslim   iraq   headscarf   middleeast   security   headshot   conflict   males   taza   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   crisis   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   keffiyeh   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   menonly   senioradult   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146108   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga With Binoculars On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   binocular   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   headscarf   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   males   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   keffiyeh   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   menonly   senioradult   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146094   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Peshmergas On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   males   rearview   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   menonly   senioradult   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   unrecognisableperson   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146063   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish General And His Son On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   child   force   desert   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   teenager   conflict   taza   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   crisis   position   frontline   kurdistan   lookingaway   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   menonly   militaryuniform   agecontrast   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146051   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish General And His Son On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   vertical   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   child   force   desert   adult   military   muslim   father   iraq   middleeast   son   security   teenager   conflict   fullframe   isis   twopeople   operating   crisis   arid   frontline   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   menonly   militaryuniform   lookingatcamera   agecontrast   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146021   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas Veterans On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   desert   adult   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   copyspace   fullframe   veteran   groupofpeople   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   machinegun   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   fourpeople   kirkuk   puk   menonly   senioradult   4people   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145992   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Young Peshmerga On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   desert   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   binoculars   conflict   copyspace   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   oneperson   kurdistan   lookingaway   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   waistup   peshmerga   oneboyonly   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145982   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas Veterans On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   desert   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   binoculars   teenager   conflict   males   copyspace   veteran   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   machinegun   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   3people   menonly   threepeople   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145975   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   flag   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   males   veteran   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   oneperson   kurdistan   lookingaway   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   lowangleview   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145969   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas Veterans On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   desert   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   males   fullframe   veteran   taza   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   oneperson   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   kalashnikov   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145958   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   desert   adult   flag   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   males   copyspace   fullframe   groupofpeople   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   fourpeople   kirkuk   puk   menonly   4people   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd145952   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   tea   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   males   veteran   groupofpeople   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   menonly   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   threequarterlength   5people   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd145945   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas Veterans On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   males   veteran   groupofpeople   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   menonly   senioradult   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   5people   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145939   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas Veterans On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   headscarf   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   males   veteran   groupofpeople   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   keffiyeh   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   3people   senioradult   threepeople   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   threequarterlength   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd145931   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Peshmerga On The Frontline, Taza, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   female   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   women   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   desert   adult   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   copyspace   fullframe   weaponry   taza   isis   operating   serving   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   sulaymaniyah   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd145919   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Veiled Peshmergas Women Of The 2Nd Battalion On The Frontline, Taza, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   horizontal   female   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   women   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   veil   risk   desert   surveillance   military   muslim   islam   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   copyspace   fullframe   weaponry   taza   isis   operating   serving   crisis   position   frontline   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kalashnikov   puk   3people   threepeople   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   sulaymaniyah   armysoldier   sulaymaniya   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   souleimaniye   daesh   peshmergaforces   womanpeshmerga   isilconflict   kurd145916   womenpeshmergas   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Veiled Peshmergas Women Of The 2Nd Battalion On The Frontline, Taza, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   horizontal   female   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   women   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   veil   desert   adult   surveillance   military   muslim   islam   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   copyspace   weaponry   groupofpeople   taza   isis   operating   serving   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kalashnikov   puk   3people   threepeople   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   threequarterlength   peshmerga   colourimage   sulaymaniyah   armysoldier   sulaymaniya   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   souleimaniye   daesh   peshmergaforces   womanpeshmerga   kurd145908   isilconflict   womenpeshmergas   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Peshmerga Woman Of The 2Nd Battalion On The Fronline, Taza, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   female   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   women   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   desert   adult   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   copyspace   fullframe   weaponry   taza   isis   operating   serving   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   puk   militaryuniform   onewomanonly   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   sulaymaniyah   armysoldier   sulaymaniya   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   souleimaniye   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145901   womanpeshmerga   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Peshmergas Women Of The 2Nd Battalion On The Frontline, Taza, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   female   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   women   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   desert   adult   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   copyspace   fullframe   weaponry   taza   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   serving   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   sulaymaniyah   armysoldier   sulaymaniya   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   souleimaniye   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd145899   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Woman Peshmerga Of The 2Nd Battalion On The Frontline, Taza, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   female   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   women   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   desert   adult   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   copyspace   weaponry   taza   isis   operating   serving   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   puk   militaryuniform   onewomanonly   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   matureadult   unrecognisableperson   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   sulaymaniyah   armysoldier   sulaymaniya   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   souleimaniye   daesh   peshmergaforces   womanpeshmerga   isilconflict   kurd145893   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Peshmergas Women Of The 2Nd Battalion On The Frontline, Taza, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   smile   smiling   horizontal   female   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   women   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   veil   adult   military   muslim   islam   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   womenonly   camouflage   conflict   females   weaponry   taza   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   serving   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   sulaymaniyah   armysoldier   sulaymaniya   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   souleimaniye   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145880   isilconflict   womenpeshmergas   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Peshmergas Women Of The 2Nd Battalion On The Frontline, Taza, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   female   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   women   kissing   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   veil   friendship   adult   military   muslim   islam   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   womenonly   camouflage   conflict   females   weaponry   taza   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   serving   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   sulaymaniyah   armysoldier   sulaymaniya   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   souleimaniye   daesh   peshmergaforces   womanpeshmerga   kurd145878   isilconflict   womenpeshmergas   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Peshmergas Women Of The 2Nd Battalion, Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   security   womenonly   weapon   conflict   females   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   crisis   frontline   adultsonly   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kalashnikov   puk   militaryuniform   lookingatcamera   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   sulaymaniyah   armysoldier   sulaymaniya   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   souleimaniye   daesh   peshmergaforces   womanpeshmerga   kurd1408068   isilconflict   womenpeshmergas   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Peshmergas Women Of The 2Nd Battalion, Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   vertical   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   serious   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   security   womenonly   weapon   conflict   females   fullframe   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   crisis   frontline   adultsonly   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kalashnikov   puk   militaryuniform   lookingatcamera   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   sulaymaniyah   armysoldier   sulaymaniya   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   souleimaniye   daesh   peshmergaforces   womanpeshmerga   kurd1408063   isilconflict   womenpeshmergas   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Peshmerga Woman Of The 2Nd Battalion, Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   closeup   cutout   soldier   army   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   security   headshot   camouflage   conflict   isis   operating   crisis   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   puk   militaryuniform   onewomanonly   lookingatcamera   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   sulaymaniyah   armysoldier   sulaymaniya   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   souleimaniye   daesh   peshmergaforces   womanpeshmerga   isilconflict   kurd145765   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Peshmerga Woman Of The 2Nd Battalion, Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   closeup   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   security   headshot   camouflage   conflict   isis   operating   crisis   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   kurdistan   lookingaway   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   puk   militaryuniform   onewomanonly   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   sulaymaniyah   armysoldier   sulaymaniya   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   souleimaniye   daesh   peshmergaforces   womanpeshmerga   isilconflict   kurd145737   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   serious   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   camouflage   weapon   conflict   males   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   30s   oneperson   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kalashnikov   bulletproofjacket   militaryuniform   lookingatcamera   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   waistup   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145664   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   men   vertical   cutout   soldier   army   photography   war   uniform   gun   day   fighter   force   adult   serious   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   males   youngadult   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   30s   oneperson   kurdistan   confidence   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   militaryuniform   lookingatcamera   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   waistup   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145639   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline Putting A Bulletproof Jacket, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   closeup   cutout   soldier   army   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   flag   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   badge   conflict   males   protection   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   30s   kurdistan   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   bulletproofjacket   menonly   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   waistup   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145627   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Arab Villages On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: house   color   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   day   fighter   village   iraq   middleeast   nobody   battle   nopeople   arab   conflict   copyspace   fullframe   isis   crisis   position   frontline   dahuk   scenics   kurdistan   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   duhok   islamicstate   kurdishethnicity   daesh   kurd1407928   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Frontline From The Kurdsih Side, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: color   horizontal   landscape   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   day   fighter   empty   iraq   middleeast   nobody   battle   nopeople   conflict   copyspace   fullframe   isis   could   crisis   position   frontline   dahuk   scenics   kurdistan   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   duhok   islamicstate   kurdishethnicity   daesh   kurd1407920   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   photography   war   uniform   gun   day   fighter   force   risk   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   males   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   massoudbarzani   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   duhok   armysoldier   unrecognizableperson   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd1407917   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish General Peshmerga On The Frontline Showing A Picture Of Himself With President Massoud Barzani, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   general   military   muslim   president   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   indoors   camouflage   conflict   males   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   senioradult   militaryuniform   lookingatcamera   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   waistup   massoudbarzani   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145589   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   camouflage   conflict   males   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   30s   kurdistan   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   paratrooper   menonly   militaryuniform   redberet   lookingatcamera   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   waistup   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145510   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   vertical   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   eagle   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   camouflage   conflict   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   30s   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   paratrooper   bulletproofjacket   militaryuniform   redberet   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   waistup   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145475   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   vertical   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   eagle   flag   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   camouflage   badge   conflict   males   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   militaryuniform   lookingatcamera   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   waistup   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145467   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   serious   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   conflict   males   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   30s   kurdistan   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   paratrooper   bulletproofjacket   menonly   militaryuniform   redberet   lookingatcamera   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   waistup   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd145457   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   men   horizontal   closeup   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   headshot   conflict   males   groupofpeople   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   kurdistan   lookingaway   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   3people   menonly   threepeople   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd145451   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   men   vertical   cutout   binocular   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   camouflage   conflict   males   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   militaryuniform   lookingatcamera   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   waistup   matureadult   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   bulletproofjacke   kurd145434   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Shelter On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: color   vertical   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   day   fighter   surveillance   iraq   middleeast   nobody   battle   nopeople   conflict   copyspace   fullframe   shelter   isis   crisis   arid   position   frontline   dahuk   kurdistan   kdp   kurdish   kurds   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   duhok   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   kurdishethnicity   daesh   isilconflict   kurd145430   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   vertical   soldier   army   photography   war   uniform   gun   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   indoors   weapon   conflict   males   fullframe   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   militaryuniform   lookingatcamera   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd1407849   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
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Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmerga Looking With Binoculars On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   horizontal   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   adult   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   binoculars   camouflage   conflict   males   copyspace   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   dahuk   oneperson   ak47   kurdistan   lookingaway   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kalashnikov   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd1407841   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue
Flickr Kurdish Peshmergas On The Frontline, Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   men   car   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   togetherness   chair   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   camouflage   conflict   males   fullframe   groupofpeople   isis   operating   crisis   position   frontline   dahuk   kurdistan   humaninterest   kdp   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   menonly   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   5people   peshmerga   colourimage   duhok   armysoldier   islamicstate   kurdistandemocraticparty   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd1407821   isilconflict   
Some peshmergas take me to the front lines of the war against ISIS. I find myself in the Taza area, just south of Kirkuk, on the road to Baghdad.
According to them, very few journalists come here. Some even said that I was the only was they saw. Nonetheless, it is a key strategic location. It is very dangerous there since Kirkuk is divided: Kurds in the north, ISIS in the south. All along the front lines you can see different units roaming about little traditional houses. Some are kept by old Kurdish vets from the 1980s wars.
Many vets have returned to war, despite being well past middle-aged and having children and grandchildren. Some even behind comfortable lives in Europe to come back, like a Swiss colonel I met. For them, it is their duty to fight for their region. Despite being autonomous and having a large secessionist movement, Kurdistan is not recognized as a state distinct from Iraq. “Some terrorists come along and now the whole world calls them the ‘Islamic State’,” complains one peshmerga, “For decades we have been trying to make the state of Kurdistan and we’ve gotten nothing!”
They have very few weapons, most of them are pre-Cold War AK47s. Some even date back to 1960. They still work, but the Kurdish forces ask for more efficient guns since ISIS has the latest weapons taken (or given) from the Iraqi army who in turn was supplied by coalition forces.
Many vets have only one working eye. The other was lost in previous wars. Once night falls, it becomes very difficult to monitor the 1000km long border. They don’t even have night vision equipment.
Last week it rained for 5 days, and it was impossible to see or hear anything. Some ISIS guys tried to gain territory, but the Kurds successfully fought them off. Their 4 wheel drives were stuck in the mud while ISIS’s brand new hummers were able to move about without issue. From the front line you can see ISIS flags. Since they told me to pack light, I didn’t bring a zoom lens. Sorry! You can see the smoke from their kitchen and even see men running from house to house.
ISIS is only 500 meters from the Kurdish position but nobody seems afraid. Peshmerga know that death is part of their fate, and even if they look like an army from another century, they will defend themselves and their country to the very end. For them, it is the highest honor to die for Kurdistan.
They protect the Baghdad road, but a few weeks ago lost it. After heavy fighting, they regained it, killing 3 Chechen ISIS fighters in the process.
Since peshmerga don’t have armored cars, it is very dangerous for them to go around safely.
The car I took to go on the front lines was very slow and made in the 80s. If we were chased by ISIS cars, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. In one day, all the materiel I saw included AK47s, a tank, an RPG, and a few gun old machines. Even if the pehsmergas say that this equipment works well, they are disappointed not to receive new ones, as Europe and USA promised.
The day after my visit, France made lot of bombings in the area, as ISIS was too close. Peshmergas take a lot of pictures, not only for souvenirs, but also to fight ISIS on the new front: social media.
They fear the roads they do not know well as ISIS pays the local farmers to put mines. Even in times of war, peshmergas are among the most welcoming people in the world. They regularly offer food and drinks.
When it was time for me to go back to the safety of Erbil, circumstances changed. The north road was closed because of an ISIS attack. The only way out was to send me through the south road that crossed Kirkuk. Let’s just say that safety there was not ideal. I had to hide my camera, and we crossed Kirkuk with an escort of armed peshmergas and a civilian car.
The soldiers were all nervous since Kirkuk is very dangerous, especially at the check points. As soon as a car was driving next to ours for too long, they were shouting at the driver to go away.
If a man was crossing the road too slowly, they threatened to hit him. These methods, employed by ISIS suicide bombers, have claimed the lives of hundred in Kirkuk. Once on the Kurdish side, they found a Kurdish taxi driver to bring me safely back to Erbil.

© Eric Lafforgue
www.ericlafforgue.com

Recent Updated: 2 years ago - Created by Eric Lafforgue - View

Copyright and permission to use should be sought to the author - Eric Lafforgue