In the video below, a reporter with the Kurdish news network Rudaw tries to speak to fighters from the Islamic State militant group.
It's a remarkable scene. The reporter, Halo Ahmad, walks to the halfway point of the bridge near Miriam Beg, a village southwest of Kirkuk. His side of the bridge is controlled by Iraqi Kurdish troops, known as the pesh merga. On the other side, you can see the black flag of the Islamic State held high, a number of armed men warning him to stay put, and a backhoe putting together a makeshift barrier.
The Islamic State is hardly friendly to journalists. The New York Times was able to get a report from inside an Islamic State-held city in Syria but withheld the reporter's name when the story was published, apparently out of fear for that reporter's safety. Vice News was able to get open access for its reporter Medyan Dairieh in the Syrian city of Raqqah for an impressive video series, apparently with the consent of the extremist group.
For Kurdish reporters, caught in the middle of a hard battle against the Islamic State in northern Iraq, it's exceptionally risky. This weekend, a Kurdish reporter, Deniz Firat, was killed by a mortar round fired by Islamic State fighters while she was embedded with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.