Summer sun beats down like a spotlight on the Tigris River meandering through the town of Shirqat, the narrow band of water the only border between territory held by Iraqi forces on one side, and militants from the so-called Islamic State on the other. Through the ripples of heat rising off the rich green riverbanks, the black IS flag can be seen flying atop buildings and hills east of the river. Daily, clusters of families cross the Tigris in a frenzy on tiny rafts, fleeing from life under IS control.
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The Iraqi siege you’ve never heard of