As Iraqi city faces new battle, ex-mayor tries to keep the peace — by phone from the U.S.

By Greg Jaffe, June 25, 2014

The last time Tal Afar fell to insurgents in the midst of the Iraq war, Mayor Najim Abed al-Jabouri was directing his troops from a 16th-century Ottoman castle in the center of his city. This time, he’s stuck in a suburb about an hour south of Washington as he punches the code from a $2 phone card into his cellphone, takes a drag on his cigarette and waits for the latest update from the battlefield.

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