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Global Research

John McCain Illegally Travels To Syria, Meets With Leaders And Fighting Groups; No Criticism From MSM

By Brandon Turbeville
Global Research, February 24, 2017
Activist Post 23 February 2017
Region: Middle East & North Africa, USA
Theme: Terrorism, US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO'S NEXT WAR?

John McCain

Shortly after the mainstream media erupted in hysteria and neo-McCarthyistic attacks against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for having a routine conversation with the Russian Ambassador and for once having dinner with the President of Russia as part of an event, aging warmonger Senator John McCain recently announced that he had traveled illegally into Syria to meet with U.S. troops illegally stationed there as well as to meet with ISIS supporter and President of Turkey, Recep Tayip Erdogan.

McCain also met with the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and crown prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In addition, McCain also met with Kurdish fighters on the ground in Syria.

On February 22, McCain’s spokeswoman, Julie Tarallo, confirmed that McCain had made the trip, saying it was a “valuable opportunity to assess dynamic conditions on the ground in Syria and Iraq.”

Tarallo also praised Trump’s order to require the Department of Defense to provide a plan for combating the Islamic State in Syria within thirty days. She said, “Senator McCain looks forward to working with the administration and military leaders to optimize our approach for accomplishing ISIL’s lasting defeat.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the trip was organized with the help of the U.S. military.

Curiously, (or, rather, typically), there were no catcalls of suspicion from the mainstream press nor were there suggestions that McCain had violated the Logan Act, even though he admitted he discussed the possibility of establishing “safe zones” in Syria and “strategies” for “fighting ISIS” in Syria with both Erdogan and international relations with the Saudi King and UAE crown prince.

McCain was also present at the Munich Security Conference where he criticized Trump’s rhetoric regarding NATO and his lack of adequate warmongering during the first two months of his presidency. According to the Associated Press,

During a speech Friday at the Munich Security Conference, McCain delivered a withering critique of Trump’s worldview as he lamented a shift in the U.S. and Europe away from the ‘universal values’ that forged the Western alliance 70 years ago.

McCain on Monday welcomed Trump’s selection of Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to be his national security adviser, calling the pick an “outstanding choice.”

Back in 2013, McCain traveled to Syria illegally where he met with terrorists backed by the United States and NATO, even taking pictures with terrorist leaders and some of the most bloodthirsty commanders of the invasion. McCain received virtually no criticism for his open violation of various American laws (including the ones he voted for). However, when U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard and former Rep. Dennis Kucinich met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after having traveled to Syria in order to tour the country and see the realities of the destruction the war, both were ravaged in the press.

McCain has had a long history of engaging in behavior that would have long ago torpedoed the career of many politicians and resulted in the incarceration of any average American. Remarkably, however, it doesn’t appear that age has slowed him down at all.
McCain Dismisses Missing Military Personnel

As Sydney Schanburg wrote in his excellent article, “The War Secrets Sen. John McCain Hides,” McCain was consistent, at least in his actions, in his refusal to allow any further attempts to discover and recover missing American POWs in Vietnam as well as even the possibility of allowing any further investigation as to the possibility that Americans were still being held captive. This is, of course, despite McCain’s incessant reliance on his military service as some type of qualification for whatever his political position of the day might be.

As Schanburg writes,

But there was one subject that was off-limits, a subject the Arizona senator almost never brings up and has never been open about — his long-time opposition to releasing documents and information about American prisoners of war in Vietnam and the missing in action who have still not been accounted for. Since McCain himself, a downed Navy pilot, was a prisoner in Hanoi for 5 1/2 years, his staunch resistance to laying open the POW/MIA records has baffled colleagues and others who have followed his career.

Critics say his anti-disclosure campaign, in close cooperation with the Pentagon and the intelligence community, has been successful. Literally thousands of documents that would otherwise have been declassified long ago have been legislated into secrecy.

For example, all the Pentagon debriefings of the prisoners who returned from Vietnam are now classified and closed to the public under a statute enacted in the 1990s with McCain’s backing. He says this is to protect the privacy of former POWs and gives it as his reason for not making public his own debriefing.

[…]

Many Vietnam veterans and former POWs have fumed at McCain for keeping these and other wartime files sealed up. His explanation, offered freely in Senate hearings and floor speeches, is that no one has been proven still alive and that releasing the files would revive painful memories and cause needless emotional stress to former prisoners, their families and the families of MIAs still unaccounted for. But what if some of these returned prisoners, as has always been the case at the conclusion of wars, reveal information to their debriefing officers about other prisoners believed still held in captivity? What justification is there for filtering such information through the Pentagon rather than allowing access to source materials? For instance, debriefings from returning Korean war POWs, available in full to the American public, have provided both citizens and government investigators with important information about other Americans who went missing in that conflict.

Would not most families of missing men, no matter how emotionally drained, want to know? And would they not also want to know what the government was doing to rescue their husbands and sons? Hundreds of MIA families have for years been questioning if concern for their feelings is the real reason for the secrecy.

Others, however, suspect that all of McCain’s insistence in keeping the information classified revolves around whether or not releasing the debriefings would open the door to McCain’s closet, suggesting that there skeletons lurking inside it that the Senator does not want falling out. Schanburg writes,

A smaller number of former POWs, MIA families and veterans have suggested there is something especially damning about McCain that the senator wants to keep hidden. Without release of the files, such accusations must be viewed as unsubstantiated speculation. The main reason, however, for seeking these files is to find out if there is any information in the debriefings, or in other MIA documents that McCain and the Pentagon have kept sealed, about how many prisoners were held back by North Vietnam after the Paris peace treaty was signed in January 1973. The defense and intelligence establishment has long resisted the declassification of critical records on this subject. McCain has been the main congressional force behind this effort.

The prisoner return in 1973 saw 591 Americans repatriated by North Vietnam. The problem was that the U.S. intelligence list of men believed to be alive at that time in captivity — in Vietnam, Laos and possibly across the border in southern China and in the Soviet Union — was much larger.

Possibly hundreds of men larger. The State Department stated publicly in 1973 that intelligence data showed the prisoner list to be starkly incomplete. For example, only nine of the 591 returnees came out of Laos, though experts in U.S. military intelligence listed 311 men as missing in that Hanoi-run country alone, and their field reports indicated that many of those men were probably still alive. Hanoi said it was returning all the prisoners it had.

President Nixon, on March 29, 1973, seconded that claim, telling the nation on television: “All of our American POWs are on their way home.” This discrepancy has never been acknowledged or explained by official Washington. Over the years in Washington, McCain, at times almost single-handedly, has pushed through Pentagon-desired legislation to make it impossible or much harder for the public to acquire POW/MIA information and much easier for the defense bureaucracy to keep it hidden.

Then there is also the case of the Truth Bill. A relatively simple bill which stated that

[The] head of each department or agency which holds or receives any records and information, including live-sighting reports, which have been correlated or possibly correlated to United States personnel listed as prisoner of war or missing in action from World War II, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam conflict shall make available to the public all such records and information held or received by that department or agency. In addition, the Department of Defense shall make available to the public with its records and information a complete listing of United States personnel classified as prisoner of war, missing in action, or killed in action (body not returned) from World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Vietnam conflict.

As one might suspect, a Pentagon implicated in the abandonment of these soldiers thus vehemently opposed the bill.

The bill was defeated in 1989. In 1991, it reappeared only to quickly disappear again. Although the interest from family members of the missing veterans as well as the American public had not necessarily waned, another bill was inserted in its place – The McCain Bill. As Schanburg describes,

This measure turned “The Truth Bill ” on its head. It created a bureaucratic maze from which only a fraction of the available documents could emerge. And it became law. So restrictive were its provisions that one clause actually said the Pentagon didn’t even have to inform the public when it received intelligence that Americans were alive in captivity.

First, it decreed that only three categories of information could be released, i.e., “information … that may pertain to the location, treatment, or condition of” unaccounted-for personnel from the Vietnam War. (This was later amended in 1995 and 1996 to include the Cold War and the Korean conflict.) If information is received about anything other than “location, treatment or condition,” under this statute, which was enacted in December 1991, it does not get disclosed.

Second, before such information can be released to the public, permission must be granted by the primary next of kin, or PNOK. In the case of Vietnam, letters were sent by the Department of Defense to the 2,266 PNOK. More than 600 declined consent (including 243 who failed to respond, considered under the law to be a “no”).

[…]

Finally, in addition to these hurdles and limitations, the McCain act does not specifically order the declassification of the information. Further, it provides the Defense Department with other justifications for withholding documents. One such clause says that if the information “may compromise the safety of any United States personnel … who remain not accounted for but who may still be alive in captivity, then the Secretary [of Defense] may withhold that record or other information from the disclosure otherwise required by this section.”

Boiled down, the preceding paragraph means that the Defense Department is not obligated to tell the public about prisoners believed alive in captivity and what efforts are being made to rescue them. It only has to notify the White House and the intelligence committees in the Senate and House. The committees are forbidden under law from releasing such information.

At the same time, the McCain act is now being used to deny access to other sorts of records. For instance, part of a recent APBnews.com Freedom of Information Act request for the records of a mutiny on merchant marine vessel in the 1970s was rejected by a Defense Department official who cited the McCain act. Similarly, requests for information about Americans missing in the Korean War and declared dead for the last 45 years have been denied by officials who reference the McCain statute.

In 1996, however, another bill appeared. Entitled the Missing Service Personnel Act, the bill attempted to force the Pentagon to do more and act faster to find and subsequently recover missing military service personnel. The bill contained measures that required very strict reporting requirements for these purposes.

Schanburg describes how McCain once again rode into town to destroy any potential that may have existed to discover existing missing personnel or any personnel who might become missing in the future. He writes,

McCain amended the heart out of the statute. For example, the 1995 version required a unit commander to report to his theater commander within two days that a person was missing and describe what rescue and recovery efforts were underway. The McCain amendments allowed 10 days to pass before a report had to be made.

In the 1995 act, the theater commander, after receiving the MIA report, would have 14 days to report to his Cabinet secretary in Washington. His report had to “certify” that all necessary actions were being taken and all appropriate assets were being used “to resolve the status of the missing person.” This section was stricken from the act, replaced with language that made the Cabinet secretary, not the theater commander, the recipient of the report from the field. All the certification requirements also were stricken.

[…]

In response, the backers of the original statute cited the Pentagon’s stained record on MIA’s and argued that military history had shown that speed of action is critical to the chances of recovering a missing man. Moving “the bureaucracy ” to Washington, they said, was merely a way to sweep the issue under a rug.

One final evisceration in the law was McCain’s removal of all its enforcement teeth. The original act provided for criminal penalties for anyone, such as military bureaucrats in Washington, who destroy or cover up or withhold from families any information about a missing man. McCain erased this part of the law. He said the penalties would have a chilling effect on the Pentagon’s ability to recruit personnel for its POW/MIA office.

Schanburg points out how McCain has personally acted as the first line of defense against any who may suggest that POWs were left to their fate in Vietnam. McCain acts, on this issue especially, behind a carefully crafted but false veneer of patriotism and military service that appears to make him infallible in the eyes of many low information voters.

Schanburg writes,

McCain does not deal lightly with those who disagree with him on any of these issues or who suggest that the evidence indeed shows that a significant number of prisoners were alive and cached away as future bargaining chips when he came home in the group of 591 released in 1973.

Over the years, he has regularly vilified any group or person who keeps trying to pry out more evidence about MIAs. He calls them “hoaxers” and “charlatans ” and “conspiracy theorists.” He decries the “bizarre rantings of the MIA hobbyists” and describes them as “individuals primarily who make their living off of keeping the issue alive.” Before he died last year of leukemia, retired Col. Ted Guy, a highly admired POW and one of the most dogged resisters in the camps, wrote an angry open letter to the senator in an MIA newsletter. In it, he said of McCain’s stream of insults: “John, does this include Senator Bob Smith and other concerned elected officials? Does this include the families of the missing where there is overwhelming evidence that their loved ones were ‘last known alive? ’ Does this include some of your fellow POWs?”

Clearly, McCain likes dissent the way he likes his veterans – silent. This silence, for McCain, can come by any means necessary.

Indeed, McCain has been the biggest denier of all when it comes to the possibility that American soldiers were left on the battlefield. Schanburg states,

McCain has said again and again that he has seen no “credible” evidence that more than a tiny handful of men might have been alive in captivity after the official prison return in 1973. He dismisses all of the subsequent radio intercepts, live sightings, satellite photos, CIA reports, defector information, recovered enemy documents and reports of ransom demands — thousands and thousands of pieces of information indicating live captives — as meaningless. He has even described these intelligence reports as the rough equivalent of UFO and alien sightings.

In Congress, colleagues and staffers who have seen him erupt — in the open and, more often, in closed meetings — profess themselves confounded by his behavior. Insisting upon anonymity so as not to invite one of his verbal assaults, they say they have no easy way to explain why a former POW would work so hard and so persistently to keep POW/MIA information from coming out. Typical is the comment of one congressional veteran who has watched McCain over many years: “This is a man not at peace with himself.”

Some McCain watchers searching for answers point to his recently published best-selling autobiography, Faith of My Fathers, half of which is devoted to his years as a prisoner. In the book, he says he felt badly throughout his captivity because he knew he was being treated more leniently than his fellow POWs owing to his propaganda value as the son of Adm. John S. McCain II, who was then the CINCPAC — commander in chief of all U.S. forces in the Pacific region, including Vietnam. (His captors considered him a prize catch and nicknamed him the “Crown Prince.”)

Also in the book, the Arizona Senator repeatedly expresses guilt and disgrace at having broken under torture and given the North Vietnamese a taped confession, broadcast over the camp loudspeakers, saying he was a war criminal who had, among other acts, bombed a school. “I felt faithless and couldn’t control my despair,” he writes. He writes, revealing that he made two half-hearted attempts at suicide. Most tellingly, he said he lived in “dread” that his father would find out. “I still wince,” he says, “when I recall wondering if my father had heard of my disgrace.”

[…]

But how would McCain’s forced confession alone explain his endless campaign against releasing MIA/POW information?

Some veterans and other McCain watchers have speculated that McCain’s mortification, given his family’s proud military tradition (his grandfather was also an admiral), was so severe that it continues to haunt him and make him fear any opening up of information that could revive previously unpublished details of the era, including his own nagging history.

McCain’s nagging problem – at least while surviving Vietnam veterans and/or their family members were more prevalent than they are today – was the fact that there were actual witnesses to the evidence pointing toward the existence of American POWs in Vietnam.

Schanburg writes about the case of Dolores Apodaca Alfond, Chairwoman of the National Alliance of Families. He states,

Her pilot brother, Capt. Victor J. Apodaca, out of the Air Force Academy, was shot down over Dong Hoi, North Vietnam, in the early evening of June 8, 1967. At least one person in the two-man plane survived. Beeper signals from a pilot’s distress radio were picked up by overhead helicopters, but the cloud cover was too heavy to go in.

Hanoi has recently turned over some bone fragments that are supposed to be Apodaca’s. The Pentagon first declared the fragments to be animal bones. But now it is telling the family — verbally — that they came from the pilot. But the Pentagon, for unexplained reasons, will not put this in writing, which means Apodaca is still unaccounted for. Also the Pentagon refuses to give Alfond a sample of the fragments so she can have testing done by an independent laboratory.

Alfond’s testimony, at a hearing of the POW/MIA committee Nov. 11, 1992, was revealing. She pleaded with the committee not to shut down in two months, as scheduled, because so much of its work was unfinished. Also, she was critical of the committee, and in particular Kerry and McCain, for having “discredited the overhead satellite symbol pictures, arguing there is no way to be sure that the [distress] symbols were made by U.S. POWs.” She also criticized them for similarly discounting data from special sensors, shaped like a large spike with an electronic pod and an antenna, that were airdropped to stick in the ground along the Ho Chi Minh trail.

[…]

Other than the panel’s second co-chairman, Sen. Bob Smith, R-N.H., not a single committee member attended this public hearing. But McCain, having been advised of Alfond’s testimony, suddenly rushed into the room to confront her. His face angry and his voice very loud, he accused her of making “allegations … that are patently and totally false and deceptive.” Making a fist, he shook his index finger at her and said she had insulted an emissary to Vietnam sent by President Bush. He said she had insulted other MIA families with her remarks. And then he said, through clenched teeth: “And I am sick and tired of you insulting mine and other people’s [patriotism] who happen to have different views than yours.”

By this time, tears were running down Alfond’s cheeks. She reached into her handbag for a handkerchief. She tried to speak: “The family members have been waiting for years — years! And now you’re shutting down.” He kept interrupting her. She tried to say, through tears, that she had issued no insults. He kept talking over her words. He said she was accusing him and others of “some conspiracy without proof, and some cover-up.” She said she was merely seeking “some answers. That is what I am asking.” He ripped into her for using the word “fiasco.” She replied: “The fiasco was the people that stepped out and said we have written the end, the final chapter to Vietnam.” “No one said that,” he shouted. “No one said what you are saying they said, Ms. Alfond.” And then, his face flaming pink, he stalked out of the room, to shouts of disfavor from members of the audience.

As with most of McCain’s remarks to Alfond, the facts in his closing blast at her were incorrect. Less than three weeks earlier, on Oct. 23, 1992, in a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, President Bush — with John McCain standing beside him — said: “Today, finally, I am convinced that we can begin writing the last chapter in the Vietnam War.”

The committee did indeed, as Alfond said they planned to do, shut down two months after the hearing.

Schanburg is no “conspiracy theorist,” it should be noted. He is a Pulitzer Prize winner from 1975 whose coverage of the social and political situation in Cambodia won him the award. Indeed, it was Schanburg’s work that laid the basis for the movie The Killing Fields.
McCain’s Support For ISIS

Yet McCain’s treachery regarding missing US military service personnel is not the only crime of his career by any stretch of the imagination. On the Sean Hannity Show, when responding to some tepid criticism by Rand Paul regarding the methods taken to support Western-backed jihadist death squads in Syria, McCain stated,

Has Rand Paul ever been to Syria? Has he ever met with ISIS? Has he ever met with any of these people? No. No. We’re gonna have a fight because it’s patently false. This is the same Rand Paul that said we didn’t want to have anything to do with anything by the way. I don’t want to get in a fight with him at all. But it’s not true. I know these people. I’m in contact with them all the time and he is not.

Earlier in the interview, after stating that he could personally show Obama places on the map to bomb in Syria to kill ISIS, he also stated that, in regards to the death squads, “I know these people intimately. We talk to them all the time.”

McCain also referred back to the tired line of Syrian death squads actually being peaceful protesters “fighting for freedom.”

Indeed, of those who provide material support to terrorism, John McCain would obviously rank at the top of the list. After all, John McCain led the charge in support of ISIS even before the terrorist group actually was called ISIS. Even after the new name and the brutality of its terrorist acts were revealed, John McCain has continued to push the outlandish lie that ISIS is a better choice than the secular government of Bashar al-Assad. He has also pushed for the U.S. Congress to support acting as Al-Qaeda’s Air Force in Syria.

It is important to note that even as the U.S. House was debating whether or not to pass token legislation to passively allow the Obama administration to perpetrate yet another foreign war against a sovereign nation that poses no threat to the United States, rabid warmonger John McCain was grilling Secretary of State John Kerry in what amounted to nothing more than some mildly entertaining D.C. theatre.

McCain grilled Kerry on the reason why the United States is not engaging in airstrikes against Assad’s air defenses as well as a full-scale ground invasion. Attempting to somehow paint Assad as worse than ISIS, McCain stated,

I think at least we owe the Free Syrian Army, negate the air attacks that they will be subjected to when they finish their training and equipping, and go into the fight. So why is it that we won’t at least news release Bashar al Assad’s air activity which has slaughtered thousands and thousands and thousands, 192,000 dead, 3 million refugees, and we’re not going to do anything about Assad’s air capabilities? And finally, ISIL first, that’s what you’re telling these young men who really view Assad as the one who has slaughtered their family members. Not ISIL. As bad as ISIL is.

Yet while his ideology may not be a crime, actually meeting and coordinating with Al-Qaeda most certainly is. In this regard, McCain has overwhelmingly demonstrated his guilt, having been caught in a number of photographs with the leader of death squad battalions, cannibals, and even the leader of al-Qaeda/ISIS himself.

McCain’s photo-op in Syria is a very interesting case since members of the general public are still considered as guilty of “providing material support” to terrorists if they engage in the same activities.

Regardless, Salem Idriss, one of the men seen in the photograph with John McCain, is the commander of the FSA, the “opposition group” touted as a “moderate rebels.” In reality, of course, the FSA is nothing of the sort. As Daniel Wagner wrote for the Huffington Post in December, 2012,

In the outskirts of Aleppo, the FSA has implemented a Sharia law enforcement police force that is a replica of the Wahhabi police in Saudi Arabia — forcing ordinary citizens to abide by the Sharia code. This is being done in a secular country which has never known Sharia Law. This type of action is currently also being implemented in northern Mali, where the West has officially declared its opposition to the al-Qaeda government that took control earlier this year. If what is happening near Aleppo is representative of what may happen if the FSA assumes control of Syria, the country may become an Islamic state. Is that really what the U.S. and other Western countries are intending to tacitly support?

[…]

The FSA has also been targeting the infrastructure of the country. One of the main power plants in Damascus was knocked out for three days last week, impacting 40 percent of the city’s residents. Do ‘freedom fighters’ typically attack critical infrastructure that impacts ordinary citizens on a mass scale? The FSA long ago stopped targeting solely government and military targets.

The FSA is no stranger to atrocities. The FSA is the “moderate opposition” that was filmed forcing a young child to behead a Syrian soldier. It is also the “moderate opposition” that maintained “burial brigades,” a system of mass murder and mass executions against soldiers and those who support the Syrian government. The burial brigades were only one small part of a much wider campaign of terror and executions implemented by the Free Syrian Army.

Of course, the Free Syrian Army is merely the umbrella group of death squads carefully crafted to present a “moderate” face on what is, in reality, nothing more than savage terrorists. Thus, the FSA encompasses(d) a number of smaller “brigades” of al-Qaeda terrorists in order to cover up the true nature of its own ranks.

One such brigade was the Farouq brigade, to which Abu Sakkar was a member. Sakkar, also seen in photographs with John McCain, was the famous rebel videotaped cutting the heart out of a Syrian soldier and biting into it.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, another one of McCain’s pic-mates, is now the leader of IS (ISIS/ISIL) and was the leader of al-Qaeda forces at the time that the photograph was taken. As Voltaire Netdescribes Baghdadi,

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an Iraqi who joined Al-Qaeda to fight against President Saddam Hussein. During the U.S. invasion, he distinguished himself by engaging in several actions against Shiites and Christians (including the taking of the Baghdad Cathedral) and by ushering in an Islamist reign of terror (he presided over an Islamic court which sentenced many Iraqis to be slaughtered in public). After the departure of Paul Bremer III, al-Baghdadi was arrested and incarcerated at Camp Bucca from 2005 to 2009. This period saw the dissolution of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, whose fighters merged into a group of tribal resistance, the Islamic Emirate of Iraq.

On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named emir of the IEI, which was in the process of disintegration. After the departure of U.S. troops, he staged operations against the government al-Maliki, accused of being at the service of Iran. In 2013, after vowing allegiance to Al-Qaeda, he took off with his group to continue the jihad in Syria, rebaptizing it Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant. In doing so, he challenged the privileges that Ayman al-Zawahiri had previously granted, on behalf of Al-Qaeda, to the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, which was originally nothing more than an extension of the ISI.

Note that at no time was Baghdadi a “moderate rebel” in any context. Nor was he ever anything more than a puppet for Western intelligence agencies.

So McCain has met with at least three terrorists and terrorist organizations in Syria. But these groups are by no means the end of the trail of McCain’s treachery or his connection to terrorism. After all, it must be remembered that McCain traveled to Libya during the assault against Ghaddafi in order to meet with terrorists in that country and promote the barbarism which they would ultimately bring. As Tony Cartalucci writes in his article, “John McCain Claims Al-Qaeda Thugs Have ‘Inspired The World,’”

He [McCain] had made an April visit to Benghazi, a city cited along with neighboring Darnah by a 2007 West Point report as the terror recruiting capitals of the world and the primary sources of foreign fighters that made their way to Iraq fighting and killing American troops. These fighters did so under the flag of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), listed to this day by the US State Department as a “foreign terrorist organization.” Despite overwhelming evidence and even admissions from Libyan rebels themselves of having ties to, being members of, or in Tripoli “council leader” Abdul Belhaj’s case, a leader of this listed terrorist organization, McCain would declare he had “met with these brave fighters, and they are not Al-Qaeda. To the contrary: They are Libyan patriots who want to liberate their nation.”

Despite McCain’s reassuring words, the rebels over the next several months would increasingly reveal their true nature to a horrified world as they waged racist genocide against Libya’s darker and black tribes, and conducted their “liberation” against cities resisting them with indiscriminate heavy weapons, blockades designed to literally starve the populations into submission and horrific reprisals once cities fell. While the corporate media did its best to obfuscate these atrocities, when entire cities like Tawarga with its 10,000 residents began disappearing from the map, even the propagandists were forced to acknowledge the “liberators” were less than noble.

It should also be noted that McCain is extremely close to the color revolution apparatus organization, the International Republican Institute, a wing of the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID. In fact, he is the current Chairman of the IRI.

As it currently stands, the fact that some people are more equal than others is clearly proven in the case of John McCain. While any other American would be immediately imprisoned and possibly tortured as a result of their connections to terrorism, John McCain is rewarded with the title of U.S. Senator and the false label of “war hero.”

It is thus important for every American to know that not only is there no such thing as a moderate opposition in Syria but that John McCain is no American hero. If the Americans mentioned in the recent AP report can be investigated, tried, and convicted of providing support for terrorists operating abroad then surely John McCain has earned his day in court.
McCain And The Nazis

Yet another stop on his world tour of destabilization and incitement to war crimes was Kiev, where McCain was photographed standing next to neo-Nazi Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of the nationalist and neo-nazi Svoboda party.

As Tony Cartalucci reported in his article “US Sponsored Democracy: A Tale of Two Protests. Ukraine and Thailand,”

Along with other racist, bigoted, extremist political parties including “Fatherland,” Svoboda has filled the streets, clashed with police, occupied government buildings and called for the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine – for the sake of joining the European Union. The EU, for its part, awaits these mobs with open arms.

Joining the EU in anticipation is US Senator John McCain of the US National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) International Republican Institute. McCain went as far as traveling to Kiev, Ukraine, and even taking to the stage at the protest – side-by-side with Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok.

Of Svoboda, the Business Insider would have this to say in their article titled, “John McCain Went To Ukraine And Stood On Stage With A Man Accused Of Being An Anti-Semitic Neo-Nazi:”

…Svoboda (which means freedom in Ukrainian) is one of those reconstructed modern European far right parties — it is aligned with the British National Party and the French National Front, for example — and it has gained some kind of electoral legitimacy, winning 10 percent of the seats in Ukraine’s parliament in 2010.

However, the party’s past is seriously murky. When it was founded in 1995, the party called itself the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU), and it had a swastika-like logo. While it eventually split from its more right wing members, the party remained focused on celebrating Ukrainian ethnic identity in opposition to Russia and Communism.

Tyahnybok himself was expelled from the Our Ukraine parliamentary faction in 2004 after giving a speech demanding that Ukrainians fight against a ”Muscovite-Jewish mafia” (he later clarified this by saying that he actually had Jewish friends and was only against to “a group of Jewish oligarchs who control Ukraine and against Jewish-Bolsheviks [in the past]“). In 2005 he wrote open letters demanding Ukraine do more to halt “criminal activities” of “organized Jewry,” and, even now, Svoboda openly calls for Ukrainian citizens to have their ethnicity printed onto their passports.

One could scarcely imagine what justification John McCain could give for associating with literal Nazis. But one will have to be satisfied with only imagining, since the Western media, charged with seeking the truth, has not raised this question let alone answered it. Even the Business Insider attempts to give McCain the benefit of the doubt in order to allow the protests to continue and to allow the US, UK, and EU to continue openly supporting them.

Conclusion

The fact that John McCain is represented as an expert or, even worse, a hero by any mainstream media outlet is a slap in the face to all basic common sense. The facts surrounding this man show him placing American service men and women in harm’s way on almost innumerable occasions while simultaneously working to stab them in the back by ensuring that those who are missing in action are forgotten or even working closely with the individuals and organizations who are supposedly the enemy of the United States.

This is of no concern to McCain of course, who, like his friend Henry Kissinger, believes that military personnel are just “dumb stupid animals to be used for foreign policy.”

Obviously, GI John is no American hero.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of eight books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference It Makes: 36 Reasons Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. Turbeville has published over 700 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
The original source of this article is Activist Post

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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 North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
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The OV-10 Bronco is a counterinsurgency aircraft dating back to the Vietnam war. It was renown for its flexibility, good visibility, and ruggedness. Though no longer in active service, NASA, the State Department, and the California Fire Service continue to operate them.
The Bronco recently soared into the headlines once more (www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3519/those-old-ov-10-bronco...), with a pair tearing it up in Iraq, hunting down ISIS with laser guided rockets. This is Lego version is inspired by these upgraded examples.

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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.
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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 Happy holidays ...
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... with love from
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Flickr FSA's Training
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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

Obama’s Up-Side-Down “War on Terrorism”: US Warplanes Strike Iraqi Popular Forces Fighting ISIS

By Fars News Agency
Global Research, March 29, 2015
Fars News Agency
Region: Middle East & North Africa
iraq

The US fighter jets once again struck the positions of Iraq’s popular forces during their fierce clashes with ISIL terrorists near Tikrit, injuring a number of fighters.

The US and coalition forces conducted eight airstrikes near Tikrit, but they hit the popular forces’ positions instead of ISIL.

This is not the first time that the US has struck the popular forces’ positions in different parts of Iraq.

Iraqi military forces, backed by Shiite and Sunni volunteer fighters, have won control over 90 percent of Tikrit after inflicting hefty losses on the ISIL.

Some 30,000 Iraqi troops and thousands of allied Shiite and Sunni militias have been involved in a month-long operation to recapture Tikrit and other key towns and villages in the Northern part of Salahuddin province from the ISIL militants.

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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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Articles by: Eric Draitser

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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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(AP) Ooooops! The United States of Israel Military Terrorism Complex just keeps bombing Syria's people again....and they somehow manage to miss CIA's ISIS employees again.

Imagine that consistent "bad luck." Dang CIA's systematic bad targeting luck that always misses its own ISIS "freedom fighters."

The poor under-funded platinum-plated CIA-Pentagon whorehouse full spectrum war criminals evidently can't hit any target that their succubi media claims they are bombing.

That's perfect because Wall Street keeps bombing "for freedom" and for "humanitarian relief." So 100% misses are perfect.

Duh.

Accidentally they can't hit nuthin', ziltch, zip, dick, nada, nothing, goose egg, zero....ever. Except Syrians. Whadda precision-guided platinum-plated trillion dollar Pentagon war machine. CIA-ISIS Mideast terrorists somehow richly funded from CIA Saudi payrolls manage to terrorize onward.

It is sheer good luck for Wall Street's Pentagon.

And helpfully CIA has scheduled a series of fresh motivational videos of CIA's ISIS partners beheading Christians. And equally lucky CIA provides the Menendez, Boner, Hillary, Cheney, Barry Bush, McCain ISIS "freedom fighters" ever fatter congressional budgets.

Videos composed of mass media manure motivate the fearful US audience. How can we resist starting a bigger war after being so terrifyingly motivated by CIA terror video services?...broadcasting CIA-ISIS spellbinding beheading videos: Wall Street methods manufacture "war consent."

Is the United States of Israel the perfect 4th Reich or what?

That's why CIA's ISIS employees MUST keep raining US-Israeli bombs on The Syrian People. In doing so they even further fatten stratospheric Pentagon Wall Street world-terrorizing budgets:

The overthrow of Syria's president, people, oil and resources is permanent uncomplicated policy.

So dang that evil Syrian Assad for causing that horrific CIA-ISIS "Syrian Freedom Fighter" humanitarian crisis afflicting millions across the entire US-Israeli bled Mideast.

CIA-manufactured genocides leave the noble United States of Israel to slaughter, gas and bomb just plain Syrians. They are the ISIS-CIA target, objective and path to Russia.

Saudi Arabia's unlimited terrorist and cash supply to CIA's 911 attacks on former USA, are the terrorist gift that keeps on giving to CIA Wall Street.

So Pentagon's Wall Street media cries to you, implores, chides and and exhorts you for bigger bombing responses. CIA-Pentagon must respond by targeting its own ISIS video stars in order to miss them....while media condition your denial of reality.

CIA-Pentagon are in explicit point of fact daily targeting Syria's government and its wretched people turned-refugees. US bombs Syrian targets and obliterates Syrian infrastructure, cynically recited in Israeli (US) mass media propaganda as:

"FIGHTING ISIS !!!"

Surely you think CIA's 100% target "misses" are simple errors that repeat target & budget "bad luck" for Wall Street-Pentagon.

And you deny along with CIA conditioning-media, their daily hammering of Syria erstwhile missing their own Saudi ISIS day-in and day-out every single day. The "missed targets" are by the same CIA-Mossad that murdered 3000 US citizens on PNAC's 911 employing their Saudi team.

But you believe criminal media. You buy Cheney's monkey president and Netanyahu's whore-congress don't you? That explains why Wall Street parasites adore your courage, worship killer heroes and love how truly smart you are for paying for such expensive Wall Street war theater...according to their reassuring media.

So the war on Syria turns out to be great luck for CIA-ISIS-Israel's whorehouse congress and president war criminals Washington-Tel Aviv. They are the butchers of Syria. Like in Iraq. Like 911. Like El Salvador. Like Vietnam. Like Cambodia. Like The Philippines, Like Chile. Like Argentina. Like Ukraine.....like permanent terrorist policy.

Yet you do not notice.

CIA turns out to be the "luckiest" 911 war criminal enterprise on Earth because of its successful design to strategically miss the ISIS "target." That's what is called "fighting ISIS" by Israeli mass criminal media.

Historically it remains the uncanny habit of CIA's entire military machine to repeatedly "miss" CIA -Mossad's Saudi terrorist partners. "Bad luck" always.

CIA's vast security (terrorism) apparatus missed the successful 911-WTC Saudi airline pilot crew sporting dandy US passports, enjoying Saudi Royal shuttle services by CIA, GWB's oil-biz financing by the Saudi Royals...and Dickless Cheney's standown of NORAD for WTC implosions...just lucky timing across the board for CIA War Mfg. Inc.

Lucky us.

Of course you buy media prayers about how "they protected us on 911" by letting each CIA Saudi terrorist contractor through to murder US citizen en mass ...missed the killers but saved thousands of dead Amercians?

Heckuva job brownie.

But luckily again, you their patriotic GMO media audience assuaged by The United States of Israel war criminal meda & government remains beautiful, brave, savvy and clever. You aren't fooled by evil Syrians no-goodniks are you? !.

In fact "Americans" ruled by Israel are far too clever to believe that CIA-Mosssad's mission is to use and destroy Earth's non-corporate humans in wars that routinely mass murder civilian targets like Syria.

You do not acknowledge genocide policy by The United States of Israel. Despite all facts.

What GMO would dignify such zany "conspiracy theory." -RT *********************************************************************************************
Unlimited War! ISIS Psyop Theater Comes to Full Fruition

By Bernie Suarez

Global Research, February 16, 2015
Activist Post
Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: Media Disinformation, US NATO War Agenda

The CIA and the U.S. Military Industrial Complex have now invested over 6 months of ISIS branding, promotion, and public relations. It was revealed by early January of 2015 that the U.S. had already dumped over one billion dollars to fight ISIS. All supposedly invested in failed air strikes and un-televised secret battles against ISIS where the U.S. ends up attacking Syrian targets instead.

The ISIS psyop has been worked on so hard by the architects of the plan that now we are seeing the final desired political goals of the entire operation – an operation which has become more of a global theater. The ISIS psyop theater is now coming to fruition and the globalists are speaking loud and clear about what they want, which is really an admission to why they concocted the ISIS psyop to begin with.

They want the authorization to use “unlimited” military “force” wherever they want, whenever they want and (of course) on WHO-ever they want to use it on. Isn’t this a tyrannical empire’s dream come true? And with this revelation the romance between ISIS and CIA/US/Israel and the other NATO ISIS partners is now fully exposed to anyone willing to see it for what it is.

For over 6 months Americans and people all over the world who still retain their normal critical thinking skills have been subjected to painfully sloppy fake ISIS videos, heavily scripted news reports verbally dictating to us accounts of supposed battles against ISIS. All along, as the months go by, ISIS has not been affected at all by anything the U.S. and its pro-ISIS allies have done. If anything, they keep telling us that ISIS continues to grow.

Even when it was revealed that throughout Iraq, “suspicions” were running deep back in September of 2014 that “CIA and Islamic State are united“, no one within the mainstream media did anything to stop the ISIS psyop by at least exposing the fact that not one ISIS supply line had been disrupted, not one bank account ceased, not one (illegal) NSA data mining effort able to collect the whereabouts of ISIS (as they do of U.S. innocent citizens) to gather them up and end the ISIS theater. Not one story was reported by mainstream media about the 100+ ISIS supply trucks rumbling through Turkey to get into Syria. Not one story appeared about how Turkey was supporting ISIS or about how the U.S. and its NATO allies were allowing ISIS to enjoy (food, water, toiletries and ammo) supplies without disruption.

We never did find out how ISIS was able to get on the Internet, make calls, communicate, make high production style videos and upload to the Internet. All we got was ISIS production departmentRita Katz and her (CIA approved anti-terror propaganda) SITE Institute telling us she luckily found the ISIS beheading videos and was able to show it to the world before ISIS themselves could promote their own video. Aside from this bizarre story we got not a peep from the mainstream media about anything relevant to stopping ISIS.

Since the launching of the ISIS show, mainstream media has instead been focused on only branding and praising ISIS and showing the world how incredible and unstoppable they are. Since the branding of the ISIS name began late in the summer of 2014 we’ve watched the ISIS psyop script morph from the fake James Foley beheading video blocked from the masses by YouTube claiming the video was too graphic and offensive, to an organization which is now (supposedly) full-scale global force stronger and more organized than any nation on earth.

We have also watched for over 6 months now as the 82 Comments story evolved into a tale told very differently by two opposing forms of media coverage. The true alternative independent (non-corporate) media has collectively exposed the ISIS tale showing how each story gets more and more ridiculous. On the other hand, the mainstream corporate media has pounded the ISIS brand and its greatness into its viewers daily, carefully setting them up for the war approval request we see now.

If you actually tracked mainstream media stories of the last 6 months you will very likely find that ISIS has gotten more headlines than any other single topic. In an Orwellian society that suffers from headline news amnesia, thanks to the “ministry of truth” mainstream media who regularly changes the headline news to fit the agenda of the day, we’ve seen an unusual repetition of ISIS stories that doesn’t even fit the mainstream media’s own script, much less the framework of reality, truth and reason.

This over-the-top effort by CIA’s mainstream media to over-sell the ISIS brand is now primed for being fully exposed with the latest White House bold request for unlimited military power to strike and kill anyone they please. For perspective, let’s examine the Obama/White House psyop sequence of responses with respect to ISIS over the last six months.

Timeline Of White House Reaction to ISIS

In early September 2014 on the heels of the fake beheading videos and stories of ISIS conquering Mosul and taking over U.S. weapons, Obama stated regarding ISIS, “we don’t have a strategy” – an unusual thing for any leader to say about any supposed threat. The strategy at the time was to make the U.S. FEEL like they were the underdogs. This “underdog” strategy is practiced by boxing coaches and we see this underdog strategy in sports all the time. It is well known that most people enjoy and prefer to root for the (perceived) underdog. Taking full advantage of this human tendency to root for the underdog was a significant piece of the early strategy for recruiting American sentiment and support for “action” against ISIS.

At the time, the mainstream media played right along with what clearly turned out to be the chosen strategy heading into the end of 2014 and early 2015. The plan? Blow up ISIS by talking endlessly about them and continue to show the world how they are growing, while continuing to sound weak with respect to attacking ISIS.

Following the September 2014 launching of the “we are the underdog” strategy, we heard highly unusual stories like ISIS bragging on social media about their success, ISIS making promotional videos involving the murder of non-supporters, ISIS somehow recruiting members all the way on the other side of the world, even ISIS printing their own money. By the end of 2014 there was almost nothing that ISIS had not accomplished.

By the turn of the new year (2015) the ISIS branding was secure and by January the U.S. Government announced the creation of a secret new “Task Force” to deal with ISIS. Details of this task force would be held a secret. The only thing we knew for sure was that it would require a lot of money $$$ to operate, that it would combine the efforts of the other NATO (pro-ISIS) countries, and that its location would be somewhere in the Middle East or South East Asia, smack in the middle of the region of the world where the U.S. has been illegally meddling in for years in its quest to run the world.

By early February 2015 the reaction from Obama and the White House was “Obama Warns Against Exaggerating the Islamic State Threat“. This position and this reaction to ISIS was intended as nothing more than reverse psychology. Obama, who had been positioning himself as the underdog all this time, now begins to position himself as someone not so eager to attack ISIS, someone who is calm and not wanting to sound like a warmonger. This was all by design.

Shortly after this staged comment attempting to sound calm and cool, of course Obama is now reacting to the ISIS soap opera in an exaggerated manner. Any time a staged terror group gets its ammunition, support, supplies and public relations from the same country they claim they will be attacking, responding to this staged situation with unlimited power of war is very much an exaggeration.

Just days after announcing his request for unlimited war on the Middle East, all consistent with the PNAC plans, now it is being reported that 4000 U.S. troops are heading to Kuwait to fight ISIS. This is what happens when the CIA’s mainstream media and its bought-out politicians make the decisions that please the U.S. Military Industrial Complex. The rest of us sit here watching these psychopaths lie about ISIS and give themselves power to wage limitless war.

ISIS Superpowers Transcend Reality

As I mentioned in my recent article about the deliberate mainstream media branding of ISIS, most people are not aware of the magnitude of the ISIS brand and how they have been portrayed as greater than god. ISIS is a meaningless group of ($300 a month salaried I’m told) Middle Eastern stray men with both Jesus Christ and Superman-like powers, combined into one. According to Western corporate media, ISIS has greater intelligence than all of their enemies combined. They are a super-human force able to outsmart all military intelligence at once, avoid all global surveillance and NSA illegal data-mining at once. All the while fighting multiple countries on multiple fronts, and WINNING!

As I’ve mentioned before, the ISIS brand has stood up to the world (according to the CIA’s mainstream media) showing off their razor blade sharp technological skills like programmers,hackers and techies with super-slick untraceable and effective social media prowess. Their totally retarded psychopathic view of life is no deterrent to average Americans, Canadians, Australians and citizens (apparently) all over the world including women!! Average people (as I said in a recent article) apparently suddenly decide the want to join ISIS for no reason at all. I suppose these people (if they actually exist) are overwhelmed by the over-the-top branding ISIS has received from mainstream media. Absolute evidence that marketing and branding works.

Breaking the ISIS Hypnotic Spell

Recently I saw where one major left-wing media persona tweeted doubts about the ISIS theater script. Is this a sign of things to come within left-wing media? As humanity waits for the people within the media to continue to break ranks and seek truth, we can be sure that things will get much worse before they get better. ISIS is a definitive piece of the puzzle for the new world order. It’s a powerful tool to enslave humanity by first killing off and destroying the uncooperative sovereign nations that get in the way (like Syria and Iran), then enslaving the rest of us. For now, the ongoing headache known as the ISIS theater or the ISIS psyop will continue unfortunately. The globalists have thrown the kitchen sink at the ISIS psyop hoping to make them greater than life and hopefully this over-the-top effort will be their own undoing.

Let’s do everything we can to expose this pro-war psychological operation whose main goal we are now seeing come to fruition. The globalist gangsters want to wage unlimited war, and it’s up to us to stop them. We also need to stop thinking of ISIS and the new world order gangsters as being separate entities, they are not. The Islamic state is very much a big part of the new world order plans. Without ISIS, the new world order plans are in serious jeopardy. Try to see this connection and free your mind of the ISIS psyop. Right now it’s plain and simple: No ISIS means NO new world order. Obama knows this, the White House knows this, traitor John McCain knows this and many in D.C. know this.

Now more than ever it is important to dump the mainstream corporate media and or hope that enough truth comes out of independent media to trigger enough doubt in Americans to stop this latest war authorization trick from the White House. Say no to more reckless war, say no to government (legal) propaganda designed to promote war, and say no to endless promotion of staged terror groups to be used as tools for the globalists’ final goals. At this point in history Americans are burned out with the same script: Problem-Reaction-Solution. Let’s all step back and change the paradigm that allows for this repeated script to play itself out over and over again. We know that the “solutions” offered by government are no solutions at all, instead it’s an extension of the problem. We are being fooled every time into Problem-Reaction-More Problem!

We must all now offer NEW solutions without which we will not survive. True solutions for the world that are real and effective. Our future as a humanity now hinges on our ability to shut down or replace the control system or their control over our ability to implement true solutions. How well we as a humanity are able to do this will determine our future and the future of the human race.

Bernie Suarez is a revolutionary writer with a background in medicine, psychology, and information technology. He has written numerous articles over the years about freedom, government corruption and conspiracies, and solutions. A former host of the 9/11 Freefall radio show, Bernie is also the creator of the Truth and Art TV project where he shares articles and videos about issues that raise our consciousness and offer solutions to our current problems. His efforts are designed to encourage others to joyfully stand for truth, to expose government tactics of propaganda, fear and deception, and to address the psychology of dealing with the rising new world order. He is also a former U.S. Marine who believes it is our duty to stand for and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. A peace activist, he believes information and awareness is the first step toward being free from enslavement from the globalist control system which now threatens humanity. He believes love conquers all fear and it is up to each and every one of us to manifest the solutions and the change that you want to see in this world, because doing this is the very thing that will ensure victory and restoration of the human race from the rising global enslavement system, and will offer hope to future generations.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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‎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

How to claim CIA fights its own ISIS terrorists while bombing Syria for Texas-OPEC-Wall Street's oil invasion. Overthrowing Syria has always been the real OPEC-CIA-Mossad oil theft target for Wall Street corporations.

Dang CIA's consistently targeted "bad luck." The oil war spending machine targets pinpoint multi-billion US CIA precision-guided bombs to continue missing "the ISIS target" ...yes yet again.

ISIS oil truck convoys hauling off stolen Syrian oil roll confidently enjoying 24-7-365 air cover protection provided by US deficit taxpaid CIA-USAF-Navy heroes. That treasonous CIA-ISIS operation flows smoothly as Syrian pipelines keep getting bombed by the same proud US push button gameboy red-white and blue treason heroes. They are US-ISIS protectorates your US Pentagon "heroes."

Ooops. They continue the Iraq 911 fake WMD invasion pretext that was invented to seize all Mideast oil riches. So CIA media keeps on hiding real fake WMD's inside of your frightened malleable US mind. The CIA Wall Street objective is to conflate CIA's ISIS boogeyman tool as sometimes John McCain's "Freedom Fighters" who attack "EVIL ASSAD SYRIA!"....textbook "fog of war" manufactured in Langley, Virginia.

Those gigantic clear and present danger fake WMD threats always manage to end up directly under brown folks' oil deposits somehow, which creates Texas-OPEC-Wall Street's bomb target solutions. That protects the freedoms of Wall Street's corporate criminal class...

.....as you are supposed to keep wetting your pants and writing blank checks to CIA-Wall Street.

As CIA "bad luck" plans have decided, those sneaky non-Wall Street brown folks just keep hiding fake WMD's right inside of oil molecules! Uncanny: Why always hidden inside the oil?

Currently many popular fake WMD's plus real Sarin gas get shipped to John McCain's CIA "Freedom Fighters." Those freedom shipments from Maryland deficit taxpaid bio-weapons laboratories get constantly "hidden" right under Assad's Syrian oil riches.

So Syria and Assad get bombed deficit taxpaid. Oil rich lands get bombed by brave button-pushing US heroes. Your taxes pay to bomb Syria for "humanitarian" Wall Street-OPEC oil corporations using their freedom loving deficit taxpaid United States Air Force and Navy. They just keep on saving us.

Wall Street-CIA-Mossad's oil invasion media humanitarians bomb constantly. Luckily for Wall Street's Lockheed, Motorola, Boeing, Raytheon billion-dollar explosions, their pinpoint missiles and bombs somehow manage to bloat Pentagon budgets even more...yep more bad luck fir shur.

Always missing CIA's fake target ISIS means that CIA's ISIS remains on-schedule invading Iraq and Syria assisting CIA's strategic endless "WMD" search. That's how ISIS somehow survives repeated pinpoint bombing misses - Dang it!

Dang all the bad luck.
-RT
**********************************************************************
Big Oil, Qataris, Saudis Lick Lips As US ‘Fights ISIS’ By Bombing Syrian Pipelines
By Brandon Turbeville

Global Research, October 27, 2014
Activist Post 26 October 2014
Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO'S NEXT WAR?

Iraq uncertainty oil prices Isis

In yet another example of the infantile nature of NATO propaganda regarding the Syrian crisis, it is now being reported in the mainstream media that the United States must bomb Syrian oil pipelines in order to defeat the ISIS threat that NATO itself created.

While logically fallacious, the rationale offered to the American public remains that ISIS is making millions of dollars per day via the sale of the oil taken from the fields in its possession on the black market to a number of different states.

Yet, while the U.S. media does not bother to explain just how ISIS manages to extract, refine, and ship the oil, or how it is able to procure deals, and complete their transactions outside of the knowledge of Western militaries, governments, and intelligence agencies to the tune of $2 million per day, these outlets do provide the solution – bomb the oil pipelines belonging to Bashar al-Assad.

Of course, while it is most likely true that ISIS is using their commandeered oil sites to support themselves on a number of fronts, and even attempting (with some success) to sell that oil, the idea that ISIS is somehow able to evade the most sophisticated monitoring network in the entire world during the process of obtaining, refining, selling, and delivering oil across the region is entirely unbelievable. Indeed, it is about as believable as the claim that ISIS was able to seize such large swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq without the knowledge of the United States and NATO.

Regardless, it must be pointed out that, among the countries listed as hosting ISIS customers by mainstream outlets like CNN, Turkey and Jordan are at the top of the list, both close American allies and one a member of NATO. Even more interesting is the fact that ISIS has also allegedly sold “black market” oil to buyers in a number of EU member states.

Still, this newly-formed ISIS oil company is now claimed to be one of the US’ “primary concerns” by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian affairs, Julieta Valls Noyes, during her recent trip to London. As usual, the U.S. response to its “concerns” involves the “possibility of airstrikes.”

Of course, having crossed the boundaries of sanity and logic a long time ago, the United States and its media mouthpieces are now pushing the fantasy that Bashar Al-Assad is one of the buyers of ISIS oil.

In other words, NATO and the U.S. in particular are trying to convince the general public that Bashar al-Assad, who has been fighting ISIS and related terror organizations for at least 4 years, is now buying oil from ISIS in order to fight ISIS. Therefore, according to the American government, the U.S. must fight ISIS by blowing up the oil pipelines that rightfully belong to Assad so ISIS does not fund itself by selling oil to Assad.

Of course, this is not merely staggering logic. It is a lie. It is nothing more than a cover to mask the true nature of the funding of ISIS and other takfiri militants operating in Iraq and Syria, namely that the funding is coming from the United States, NATO, and the GCC. Like the ridiculous claims that ISIS was funding itself entirely through secretive private Twitter donations, the “oil sales” argument is one that should be taken with a healthy dose of salt. After all, mainstream outlets are also asserting that ISIS is selling some of this oil to the Syrian government, a lose-win-lose situation for both sides and a rather poor attempt to portray Assad as an ally of ISIS.

In reality, it should always be remembered that ISIS is entirely a creation of the West and that it remains fundamentally under the control of NATO and the GCC.

Another relevant piece of the puzzle that must be kept in mind is the coveted Qatari oil pipeline desired by both Qatar and the United States. This pipeline would run up from Qatar through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey and, from there, on to the rest of Europe. The establishment of this pipeline would have provided for a much-needed backup plan for Europe that is currently dependent on Russia for much of its supply. Remember, it was in 2009 that Assad nixed the plan for the development of this pipeline.

In lieu of the Qatari deal, Assad began negotiating a deal with Iran that would have seen a pipeline built across Iraq and Syria that also would have provided gas to Europe.

As Nafeez Ahmed wrote for The Guardian in 2013,

The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan was a “direct slap in the face” to Qatar’s plans. No wonder Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, in a failed attempt to bribe Russia to switch sides, told President Vladmir Putin that “whatever regime comes after” Assad, it will be “completely” in Saudi Arabia’s hands and will “not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports”, according to diplomatic sources. When Putin refused, the Prince vowed military action.

With this in mind, one can clearly see the incentive that Western governments would have in the destruction not only of the potential Iran-Iraq-Syria oil/gas pipeline but also of the existing oil and gas pipeline infrastructure that currently exists. A bombing of Syria’s oil pipelines would subsequently allow the Qataris to rebuild the infrastructure that its allies destroyed and, as a result, weaken Russia even further on the geopolitical grand chessboard.

Lastly, it should not be forgotten that the destruction of Syria’s oil and gas infrastructure weakens the Syrian government’s forces. Remember, in instances where the United States has bombed Syrian oil refineries so far, SAA forces were poised to move in to retake control of the oil refineries managed by terrorists funded by Western powers, but the United States initiated airstrikes just in the nick of time to deprive SAA forces of the opportunity to seize some of the oil refinery infrastructure it desperately needs.

It is also important to note that virtually none of the infrastructure being destroyed by the United States airstrikes was built by ISIS. It was built by the Syrian government. The reality of the bombing campaign is that the United States and its allies are destroying important regions of Syria and leaving nothing of real value for the Syrian military to retake after its long-fought battles against ISIS.

In the end, the latest claims presenting ISIS as impenetrable in its secrecy and daunting in its war and financial strategy is nothing more than pure propaganda. It is nothing more than a justification designed to goad the American people into continued complacency in the face of further US military intervention in Syria and the open assault on the Syrian government. Unfortunately, this has become a task which is far too easy.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 300 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.

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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 On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: portrait   people   color   men   horizontal   closeup   scarf   cutout   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   adult   military   muslim   iraq   headscarf   middleeast   security   headshot   conflict   males   copyspace   taza   isis   operating   crisis   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   keffiyeh   grayhair   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   waistup   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146803   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 Holding 1960 Kalashnikov On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   adult   military   iraq   middleeast   security   weapon   conflict   taza   isis   operating   crisis   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kirkuk   kalashnikov   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   unrecognisableperson   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   unrecognizableperson   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146791   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   togetherness   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   adult   flag   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   weapon   conflict   males   fullframe   groupofpeople   taza   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   ak47   kurdistan   humaninterest   irak   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   kalashnikov   puk   menonly   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   kirkouk   daech   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146767   
Would you be ready to fight ISIS on the frontline in Iraq with old AK47 from 1960? Those kurdish peshmergas i met yesterday do it, as they have no choice…USA and Europe promised new weapons, but they are not the battlefield in this area on the Bagdad road. They use the same weapons than the tribes i met in deep south Ethiopia…Such a shame.
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 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 Tank On The Frontline, Kirkuk, Kurdistan, Iraq
Tags: people   color   horizontal   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   day   fighter   force   risk   adult   surveillance   military   muslim   iraq   middleeast   battle   security   laundry   weapon   transportation   conflict   cloth   isis   operating   crisis   arid   position   frontline   adultsonly   oneperson   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   militaryuniform   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   onemanonly   peshmerga   colourimage   1people   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   isilconflict   kurd146408   
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   groupofpeople   taza   isis   operating   crisis   frontline   adultsonly   kurdistan   lookingaway   confidence   humaninterest   taze   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   senioradult   militaryuniform   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   threequarterlength   5people   peshmerga   colourimage   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146353   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   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 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   blackandwhite   vertical   soldier   army   outdoors   photography   war   uniform   gun   day   fighter   child   force   adult   military   muslim   father   iraq   middleeast   son   battle   security   weapon   teenager   conflict   fullframe   isis   2people   twopeople   operating   crisis   position   frontline   kurdistan   humaninterest   confrontation   kurdish   kurds   kirkuk   puk   menonly   militaryuniform   lookingatcamera   agecontrast   onlymen   northerniraq   iraqikurdistan   peshmerga   armysoldier   islamicstate   patrioticunionofkurdistan   daesh   peshmergaforces   kurd146026   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   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 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   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 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 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
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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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