Members of the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS), a militia affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers? Party (PKK), rest at a checkpoint in the village of Umm al-Dhiban, northern Iraq, April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
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An unlikely alliance forms against Daesh in IraqThey share little more than an enemy and struggle to communicate on the battlefield, but together two relatively obscure groups have opened up a new front against Daesh (ISIS) militants in a remote corner of Iraq. The mainly Kurdish secular group, which includes Yazidis, controls a pocket of territory in Sinjar and recently formed an alliance with a Sunni Arab militia drawn from the powerful Shammar tribe.While the Arab militia wants to restore Baghdad's authority over this arid hinterland, the YBS is on a mission to establish its own model of society based on the philosophy of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.The Arab fighters have only a vague notion of the man whose mustachioed image decorates YBS fighters' fatigues and a flag now flying beside Iraq's at the entrance to Umm al-Dhiban.For the YBS, partnering with a local Arab force makes them look less like invaders as they push into areas where Kurds are in the minority.Abu Hazaa said the only flag he would raise was Iraq's.
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