Until the US stepped in with airstrikes, the Islamic State's rapid advances threatened the Iraqi Kurdistan capital of Erbil, and seemed set to dash the Kurdish peshmerga's reputation as fearless warriors. With American warplanes circling overhead and constantly striking Islamic State positions, the front line quickly stabilized, and the peshmerga slowly began to recover ground. Now the scene was set for battle, and the recapture of the strategic Mosul Dam. VICE News travelled with a Kurdish official to Khazer, near Mosul, and towards the front line of the fight between the Islamic State and peshmerga fighters. 

Click to watch Part 1 of The Islamic State

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