Peshmerga soldiers fortify their position along a sand berm north of the Iraqi Kurdish checkpoint village of Shaqouli, some 35 kilometres east of Mosul, on November 10, 2016. AFP / Odd ANDERSEN
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Iraqi Kurdish forces are building a berm near Mosul – a line in the sand that may mark a boundary of territory that they aim to keep after recapturing it from militants. The Kurdish peshmerga fighters have worked methodically, like in a factory line, packing dirt into sacks, sealing them, and then stacking them firmly atop the berm cutting across the sands near the battleground city.While federal forces still have weeks if not months of fighting ahead against Daesh (ISIS) in the Mosul area, Kurdish peshmerga fighters say their objectives have been completed less than a month into the operation.The peshmerga gained ground that Iraqi federal forces abandoned in June 2014, and while they were later pushed back by Daesh, they have since steadily advanced against the militants with the help of U.S.-led air support.The first Iraqi army checkpoint stands a few hundred meters away, with the two positions already operating like border crossings.
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