A Kurdish stands guard at a checkpoint at the edge of the largely abandoned frontline village of Mahmur, where fighters with the Islamic State are estimated by the local Peshmega commander to be as close as 3 miles away, in Northern Iraq, August 15, 2014. Since IS started making its way across Iraq, and overrunning various towns, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced across the country. Mahmur fell to the Islamic State less than two weeks prior, and after the aid of American air strikes, is now back in the hands of the Peshmerga. Most civilians are gone, and those who remain are vigilant for the potential return of IS fighters at any moment. civilian population is all but gone. (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)

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