A small town resisting ISIL attacks is defending itself rather than fleeing. After six weeks, the civilians there are still holding out. The Iraqi army has largely abandoned them, and most other resistance groups are focused in the Kurdish regions and around Baghdad.
BAGHDAD — As Islamic militants rampaged across northern Iraq in June, seizing vast swaths of territory and driving hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, the Shiite Turkmens living in the hardscrabble town of Amirli decided to stay and fight.
The wheat and barley farmers took up arms, dug trenches and posted gunmen on the rooftops, and against all odds they have kept the Islamic State extremist group out of the town of 15,000 people. But residents say they are running low on food and water despite Iraqi army airlifts, and after more than six weeks under siege they don’t know how much longer they can hold out.
“We are using all of our efforts, all of our strength to protect our city and protect our homes,” Nihad al-Bayati, an oil engineer now fighting on the outskirts of the town, told The Associated Press by phone. “There is no…
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