SINJAR, Iraq — Next to a row of abandoned shops, three peshmerga fighters warm themselves around a campfire at the entrance to Sinjar town as their comrades, backed by US-led coalition airstrikes, battle Islamic State (ISIS) militants a few hundred meters away. “All Kurdish forces fight Daesh together in Sinjar town. … I don't care which party the peshmerga next to me belongs to when we fight these terrorists,” says Moein Mawlood, a 54-year-old fighter. “We are all in this fight together.”
Facing a common enemy along the front line in northern Iraq, Kurdish peshmerga have set aside their partisan loyalties to protect their homeland. The division between the region's main two political parties — the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) — however, persists.