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Raw: Iraq Forces Battle Militants

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Video obtained by the Associated Press showed Iraqi government forces and Shiite militias firing towards militants from the Islamic State group on Monday. (Sept. 1)

FREELANCE VIDEO - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Soleiman Beik - 1 Sept 2014

1. Various of Iraqi government forces taking cover UPSOUND: (Arabic) Iraqi Shiite militiaman "They are close, only 500 metres, don't let them flank us" - zoom into to tanks firing

2. Mid of Iraqi army tank

3. Zoom out of Iraqi Shiite militiamen firing weapons towards the militants of the Islamic State group

4. Mid of tank firing

5. Wide of tanks with heavy smoke in foreground

6. Pan from tank with Iraqi flag

7. Wide of tank firing

8. Smoke rising in distance

STORYLINE:

Video obtained by the Associated Press showed Iraqi government forces and Shiite militias firing towards militants from the Islamic State group on Monday.

The footage showed Iraqi government forces firing tanks towards the militants near the northern Shiite town of Amirli, in Soliman Beik district, as Iraqi soldiers and Shiite militiamen warned each other of incoming sniper fire.

Thousands of the Iranian-backed Shiite militias have answered a call by Iraq-based Shiite influential cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, to join the government forces in the fight against the Sunni insurgents.

Since early this year, Iraq has faced a growing Sunni insurgency led by an al-Qaida-breakaway group, the Islamic State, and allied militants have taken over territory in the country's north and west.

The crisis is Iraq's worst since the 2011 withdrawal of US troops.

A summer offensive stunned Iraqi security forces and the military, which melted away and withdrew as the Islamic State group in June overran the northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit, as well as small towns and villages on their path.

Since then, Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias have been fighting the militants without achieving significant progress on the ground.

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