The Battle for Iraq: Shia Militias vs. the Islamic State

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The Battle for Iraq: Shia Militias vs. the Islamic State 4.5

Last summer, the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) swept from Syria into northern Iraq, routing Iraqi security forces and seizing the city of Mosul. Soon afterward, the group declared the establishment of a dubious "caliphate" in the area it controls and rebranded itself the Islamic State. With Iraq's army weakened and radical militants advancing on Baghdad, the country's Iran-backed Shia militias — which have their own history of sectarian abuses — fought back, halting the Islamic State's progress.

The militias have successfully combated Islamic State fighters on the ground with the assistance of air strikes from a US-led military coalition. But their growing influence within Iraq's government amid accusations that they have harmed Sunnis in areas that they control has led many to fear that the militias threaten the country's fragile sectarian and political balance.

VICE News traveled to Iraq in December to witness firsthand how Shia militias are taking the fight to the Islamic State, and to document the fallout of their controversial rise to power.

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💬 Comments

4:56 Homie, what are you doing reporting on the front lines in skinny jeans?? Hold them pants up with a belt, son.

Author — Brendan van Son


Legend says Abu hajaar is still rolling

Author — Jason McIntyre


4:06 dude shooting and swiping at the same time.

Author — bibi green


"Essentially a way to troll ISIS"

Author — dude bruh


As a Syrian I really love and respect my Iraqi brothers

Author — Hamzah Noujoum


6:22 “I’m carrying this sword as it has history”

“What history??”

“ know, history of sorts. It’s a thing.”

Author — Bread E.


well done Shia brothers, I'm Shia too from Afghanistan. long live humanity ❤ respect to all religions

Author — Amir King


At least they dont got an Abu Hajaar lmao

Author — shooterxd23


5:38. The guy on the right. He's feeling it!

Author — AdzrenKolbenfaust


When you take your grandads last piece of meat at Christmas dinner:

Author — Daniel J Richardson


2:16 my mom when i finish my homework in time.

Author — Edward snowden


The Shia guard is the only reason isis is out of Iraq today the Iraqi army is corrupt

Author — Mohammd


At least the Shia militias avoid killing journalists, Christians and Yazidis. Most even avoid killing innocent Sunnis, even though they could be better in that regard.

Author — AureaPersona


18:45 hard to swallow pills for many westerners and non-shia people in general

Author — Ethical Memeing


Abu Hajaar rolling his way to the frontlines

Author — Jesus Christ


6:15 this old guy is ready to gut their guts!

Author — Eugene Flores


4:35 in the middle of a fire fight and hes checking his phone

Author — b b


4:35 When you need to defend your country from ISIS but you get matched with a cutie on tinder

Author — Jake



Isis: no smoking
Also isis: just a few, we might die anytime 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Author — Let There Be Truth


10:08 might not want to stand there, cameraman.

Author — legendzfall