The frontier could mark the fault line of a new conflict in Iraq once the extremists are defeated.
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Construction began in 2014, when this marked the front line between U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, known as the peshmerga, and Daesh (ISIS), which had swept across northern Iraq that summer, routing the army and threatening the Kurdish autonomous region.The Kurds have been at loggerheads with the Baghdad government over the so-called disputed territories – lands stretching across northern and eastern Iraq – since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution says their fate should be decided by a referendum, but such a vote has yet to be held, and as the Iraqi army collapsed in 2014, the Kurds moved in. Since then, with the aid of U.S.-led airstrikes, the Kurds have taken territory equivalent to 50 percent of their recognized autonomous region.Barzani, the regional president's nephew, said the Kurds no longer trust the Iraqi army to defend the country, after it lost nearly a third of it to Daesh two and a half years ago.
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