File - The presence of Shiite militias on the battlefield has angered many Sunnis.
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Iraqi government troops have ordered Shiite militias to stay back from the front lines to reduce hostility from villagers as they advance into Sunni areas held by ISIS fighters.The Shiite militias played an important role halting the dramatic advance by ISIS fighters through northern Iraq in June, when the country's army crumbled. Winning the support of the local population is seen as crucial to defeating ISIS fighters, but a difficult task as long as the feared Shiite militias are playing a prominent role on the battlefield.Abu Marwa, a farmer in the area, said many locals had embraced ISIS when the fighters initially arrived, because they promised to help defend the area from the militias and the Shiite-led Baghdad government.
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