Den turkmenske sjia-byen Amerli ble befridd av irakiske og iransk milits, støttet av amerikanske fly. Uten flystøtte hadde ikke operasjonen lykkes. Men det gjorde ikke amerikanerne populære av den grunn.
Blant militsene var soldater som hadde slåss mot amerikanerne da USA kontrollerte landet. De var ikke blitt mildere stemt.
On Tuesday, the colorful flags of at least four militias competed for prominence on the streets and buildings of Amerli. Along with the banner of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraqi group unrelated to the better-known Lebanese Hezbollah, were those of the Badr Brigades, Saraya al-Salam and Asaib Ahl al-Haq.
The fact that American air power had helped was not as celebrated. Some of the militiamen had fought the Americans after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Mr. Abdullah spoke for many when he said, “We do not like the Americans, and we didn’t need their airstrikes.”
Da ISIS trakk seg tilbake, etterlot de flere døde. En innbygger ved navn Barash fant en død kriger.
As they surveyed the area afterward, Mr. Barash encountered several bodies of ISIS fighters that the militants had not claimed. Standing over one, Mr. Barash heard a phone ring from inside the insurgent’s pocket. He grabbed the phone and spoke: “Come and take your body.”
But an old man answered, weeping. He told Mr. Barash that ISIS had taken his son from him when they swept through his village. The militants had given him a choice: He could give them his daughter or one of his sons.
Crying on the phone, the old man said his son was a teenager, not even old enough for facial hair, and never learned how to fight.
“I told him I was sorry,” Mr. Barash said.