When Sunni militants captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in June, Abu Sara and his family feared their town of Taza, located some 50 kilometers southeast of the city, would inevitably be next. Government soldiers had dropped their weapons and abandoned their posts — forcing residents to fend for themselves.
It wasn't before long before the gas was cut, then the water, ahead of the imminent onslaught. The family was left with little choice but to flee to the closest city that could offer them safe haven — Kurdish-dominated Kirkuk.
Also read: Iraqi Forces Advance Toward ISIS-Held Mosul