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Kurdish peshmerga divisions hamper war effort

The majority of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces are divided between the two main rival political parties, hindering efforts in the fight against the Islamic State.
Members of the Kurdish security forces take part in a patrol in Zumar, Nineveh province December 18, 2014. Kurdish peshmerga fighters have fought their way to Iraq's Sinjar mountain and freed hundreds of people trapped there by Islamic State fighters, a Kurdish leader said on Thursday. Kurdish peshmerga soldiers began their offensive on Wednesday to break the jihadists' siege of the mountain and the town of Sinjar. The peshmerga advanced from Zumar, east of Sinjar, capturing back 700 square km (270 square m
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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.

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