In this Satureday, Oct. 18, 2014 photo, Sheikh Khalil Ibrahim Haidan, center, walks in his family farm in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib suburb, Iraq. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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The Baghdad suburb of Abu Ghraib will never fall to ISIS, Sheikh Khalil Ibrahim Haidan said, launching into discussion at his family farm.That year, Al-Qaeda conducted a suicide attack at the home of Sheikh Thahir al-Dhari, the leader of the Al-Zoba tribe, killing Dhari's son and two of his aides.The serenity belies mounting tensions across this region as ISIS continues to make gains against an embattled Iraqi military – despite the air campaign launched by the U.S. and several allies. Iraqi troops and militants regularly exchange mortar fire just west of Abu Ghraib, as the militant group works its way around Iraq's western Anbar province, looking to seize what is left of it, hardening its grip on the Iraqi-Syrian border.At the height of Iraq's sectarian conflict, Sunni tribal members formed the first Awakening groups, ad hoc armed forces that allied with the U.S. military to rid their communities of Al-Qaeda in Iraq – the precursor of the ISIS group.With tribes often numbering 30,000 to 40,000 people, the effort has a long way to go.Abu Ghraib's tribes, the Al-Zoba sheikhs say, know it's up to them to keep their homes safe.
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