Iraqi security forces carry their weapons during a patrol on the outskirts of Samarra August 2, 2014. (REUTERS)
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Baghdad's air force and Kurdish fighters from Syria joined forces with Iraq's embattled peshmerga Monday to push back jihadists whose latest attacks sent thousands of civilians running for their lives.The Islamic State, or IS, raised its black flag in Sinjar on Sunday after ousting the peshmerga troops of Iraq's Kurdish government, forcing thousands of people from their homes. The peshmerga's fellow Kurds in Syria have meanwhile sent their own fighters across the border to help, in an unprecedented move.The Syria-based group posted pictures of what it said were its forces operating inside Iraq and said that PYD fighters had been battling IS militants north of Sinjar.As Kurdish fighters converged on Sinjar, as well as the town of Zumar lost a day earlier, fleeing civilians risked being caught in the battle. The Syrian Kurds and the peshmerga have had tense relations in the past and there was no evidence the two groups were coordinating efforts to retake Sinjar.Several Kurdish sources said IS fighters were closing in on Mosul dam, considered Iraq's largest.
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