MARCH 16, 2015
TAL AL-WARD DISTRICT, IRAQ — Bulldozers with steel plates welded over their cockpits to thwart snipers are digging earth berms and trenches here, creating the new front lines of northern Iraq.
Kurdish peshmerga units began a week ago pushing beyond a line 20 miles southwest of the oil city of Kirkuk, which Kurds have held since last summer when Sunni militants swept into Iraq from Syria. The Kurdish fighters’ aim is to squeeze the self-styled Islamic State between them and a parallel offensive by the Iraqi Army and allied Shiite militia to the south that has encircled Tikrit.
The multi-pronged fight is…