MOSUL FRONT, Iraq—The Daily Signal’s foreign correspondent, Nolan Peterson, recently visited the Kurdish peshmerga’s front line positions surrounding the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul—Iraq’s second-biggest city.

The peshmerga, which translates to “one who faces death,” are an ally of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led international coalition combatting Islamic State, the terrorist army also known as ISIS.

Kurdish commanders say the U.S.-led airstrikes have been a game changer, degrading their enemy and boosting the Kurds’ morale. And despite a lack of heavy weapons and ammunition, the peshmerga soldiers are determined to keep fighting.

The Kurds say they’re fighting for Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence, and to defend the outside world from ISIS. For some soldiers, the fight is personal.