"I have my faith." The deserter's story illustrates a dynamic increasingly shaping a conflict that could tear Iraq apart: With the army's northern divisions hard hit by desertions as key Sunni cities fell in June, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government has leaned heavily on Shi'ite militias and volunteers motivated by a sense of religious duty. In some areas, there are now at least as many Shi'ite gunmen and civilian volunteers as there are regular soldiers, volunteers and a militia spokesman said. Tens of thousands have been mobilized since Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric issued a call to arms in response to the lightning offensive led by the Islamic State, a hardline Sunni group. The effort probably helped security forces stave off total collapse.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fantasy saga "Game of Thrones," defying the Emmy Awards' grudging respect for genre fare, emerged as the leader in the nominations announced Thursday with 19 bids, including best drama series.