The Kurds have been moving further into Iraq's disputed territories, and not everyone is thrilled. In towns closer to Baghdad with higher Arab populations, like Jalawla and Sadiya, they have encountered fierce resistance from militant Sunni groups. While Kurdish peshmerga forces have been welcomed in many areas, they've needed to fight to enter others.
For our fourth dispatch about the escalating crisis in Iraq, VICE News embedded with the peshmerga as they struggled to maintain control over their land. We spoke with a Sunni tribal leader in Kirkuk about the recent Kurdish takeover and the strategic importance of the city, and with Kurdish soldiers about why they volunteered to fight and how they are successfully fending off ISIS and the Iraqi Shiite military.