I am standing at the very frontline of Peshmerga controlled Iraqi Kurdistan, bordering a territory controlled by the Shia militant group Hashd al-Shaabi, who receive their marching orders from both Baghdad and Tehran.
To my one side is the Christian town of Batnaya, which has seen over 85 percent of its homes, businesses and churches torched and detonated by Islamic State terrorists over the several years they controlled the town before Peshmerga forces won its liberation.
The hope is that one day Christians can return to the town now in Kurdish control, a people and government which list pluralism among their core principles.
However, my other side is yet another Christian town which is now under Iraqi-Iranian control. Christians there, I'm told, have fled as Muslim residents and militants now occupy the town.
Peshmerga forces tell me Hashd al-Shaabi forces hardly helped in the fight against ISIS, their common enemy, but waltzed in after the fact and began seizing Christian land.
Iraq's fight against Islamism did not end with Al Qaeda but bore a new beast in the Islamic State. And so, one question remains: When Peshmerga and coalition forces push ISIS back, will a new terror group-- perhaps this time with an Iranian Shia flare-- rise to fill the void?
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