Peshmerga units in northern Iraq remain on guard against members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).
From Tuz Khurmatu, a village southeast of Kirkuk, to the frontlines of Bashiqa near Mosul, progress against the armed group has been slow, despite the support of the international coalition and the Iraqi army. Even when villages are recaptured, they are found to be riddled with improvised explosives, presenting serious hazards to liberating troops.
When it is quiet on the frontlines, soldiers pass their time by watching TV and holding shooting contests. They watch the shelling in the distance, attempting to scout their enemy’s movements through binoculars.
They have hunkered down for a long war.