Rich Kirkuk From IS

February 17, 2015 12:44 PM

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Shiite prayers billow from a mosque loudspeaker at a sprawling Iraqi military base on the fringes of the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk as Shiite militiamen, most of them in mismatched military fatigues, shuttle back and forth to nearby front-lines, eager for a taste of victory against the Islamic State group.

When the IS militants blitzed across northern and western Iraq last year, tens of thousands of Shiite men answered a call-to-arms by the country's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, to defend the nation against the Sunni extremists.

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