Iraqi boys walk on a destroyed street in a neighborhood recently retaken by Iraqi security forces during fighting against Islamic State militants on the western side of in Mosul, Iraq, Monday, April 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
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For Iraqi police officer Jassem and his brothers, the battle against Daesh (ISIS) is personal.The family from southern Iraq – far from Mosul which lies near the country's northern border – is just one of many where entire sets of brothers have taken up arms against Daesh out of revenge, duty or just to earn money.But the fight has further militarized Iraqi society, pushing young men into the armed forces and, increasingly, sectarian and tribal militias. On another Mosul front line, Counter Terrorism Service commando Hamza Kadhem said that before Daesh arrived, he was the only one of five brothers to have picked up a gun.As well as Shiites from the south, young men from around Mosul – where Sunnis are in the majority – are also keen to fight.They are now flooding to join Sunni tribal militias also under the Hashd, security officials and militia leaders say.
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