Sgt. Ahmed Kamel, 26, of Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces, rests during the midday heat at a battle position on the southern edge of Fallujah, Iraq. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
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At the time, Daesh fighters killed more than 1,000 captured soldiers at the base, outside the city of Tikrit, north of Baghdad.Saadi said his troops would now start clearing the bombs planted on Fallujah's streets and in houses by the retreating militants.As the fight against Daesh in Iraq enters its third year, the long back-to-back deployments are wearing many units in the country's fractured military thin. The mounting casualties among Iraqi forces have made the fight increasingly personal for those who remain.In a unit stationed nearby in southern Fallujah, Sgt. At positions on the operation's front lines, Iraqi troops carry a variety religious objects and good luck charms into battle.The airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition took out the small Daesh unit that that had him and a dozen other Iraqi troops pinned down inside a house.
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