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For now, the two forces are convenient but uncomfortable allies against the nihilist ISIS.This is how the new Iraq is being forged: block by block, house by house, village by village, and mostly out of sight and control of officials in Baghdad. Other areas in the north have fallen to Shiite militias and Kurdish peshmerga fighters, who claim land where they can.In Baghdad's rural outskirts and in the Diyala province to the east and north towards Samarra, militias, sometimes backed by Iraqi military, are seizing land and destroying houses in Sunni areas. Finally, there is Baghdad and Iraq's southern provinces, which are ostensibly still ruled by the country's Shiite-led government. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a Shiite who became Iraq's new leader in September, four months after national elections, hopes that the country can be stitched back together. Abadi, the Kurds and even some Sunni politicians now all speak of the need for federal regions, so the country's communities can govern themselves and remain part of a unified state.Sheikh Ali Abed al-Fraih has spent months fighting ISIS.In a house on the outskirts of Baghdad, a Shiite tribal leader sat and imagined his world as "a dark tunnel with no light" at its end.
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