Strange bedfellows: Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi Shia militias fight Isis as one

Among the lush meadows that cover the countryside around Kirkuk, fighters from the village of Bashir look toward their home. Flanked by the brightly coloured banners of one of Iraq’s Shia militias, they are preparing an attack on the Isis snipers who stalk the otherwise empty streets of the village, one mile away.

Not far off are the Kurdish Peshmerga, waiting for the command to push Isis further back from the Kurdish-controlled city of Kirkuk, the capital of its eponymous governorate, 12 miles to the north. The fighters have a common foe, but on the ground cooperation is carried out warily.