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Clashes and tension along Kurdistan’s new border

After gaining new territory, Kurdish forces are providing badly needed security – but in volatile border towns like Tuz Khurmatu, they face tensions with locals and battles with insurgents.
Kurdish security forces stand guard in Tuz Khurmatu on June 12, 2014. (Reuters)

TUZ KHURMATU - Kurdish security forces are facing big challenges as they seek to secure their territorial gains of the past two weeks – trying to win support from non-Kurdish residents even as they face regular attacks from insurgents along their new southern border.

At the outer fringes of Kurdish control, the challenges have been especially acute – nowhere more so than in the besieged city of Tuz Khurmatu, in Salahaddin province. The Peshmerga have faced deadly attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS); they have also had to navigate a sensitive relationship with residents, a majority of whom are ethnic Turkomen.

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