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Yazidi infighting, disputes over Sinjar stall battle against Islamic State

Kurdish political parties have formed various armed forces that are fighting for control of Sinjar, which is still not out of danger from the Islamic State.
A man from the minority Yazidi sect stands guard at Mount Sinjar, in the town of Sinjar, December 20, 2014. Iraqi Kurdish fighters flashed victory signs as they swept across the northern side of Sinjar mountain on Saturday, two days after breaking through to free hundreds of Yazidis trapped there for months by Islamic State fighters. REUTERS/Ari Jalal (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY) - RTR4IV2I

BAGHDAD — Iraqis are calling for the liberation of lands occupied by the Islamic State (IS), but ongoing differences between the parties participating in the liberation operations are obstructing this process. A new conflict recently emerged between forces affiliated with minority groups in Nineveh — including the Yazidis — and Kurdish forces from the Kurdistan Region. This conflict may delay the liberation process of minority areas in the Nineveh Plains.

After IS took over Sinjar in August 2014, Yazidis independently formed a volunteer military force known as the Sinjar Defense Units (HPS) led by Haider Shesho, who came from Germany to lead the liberation efforts. These Yazidi resistance forces even raised their own flag.

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