Aza Betwata (left) and his brother Mirwan (center) left Holland to join the Kurdish peshmerga fighting against ISIS militants in northern Iraq. Though the brothers come from a family of fighters, Aza had just two days of training — his brother must show him how to strip and clean his rifle. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

A family passes through Maktab Khaled in northern Iraq, the last Kurdish checkpoint before they make their way to Kirkuk. ISIS-controlled territory lies less than a mile away. Leila Fadel/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Leila Fadel/NPR

Soldier of U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade prior to an air analysis mission near an oil and gas separation plant at the Baba Gurgur oil field outside northern Iraq's town of Kirkuk in May 2003. Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters/Landov

Smoke rises after a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on Kobani, Syria, Monday, as seen from the Turkish side of the border. Kurdish fighters say they're making progress against ISIS in the area. Tolga Bozoglu/EPA/LANDOV hide caption

itoggle caption Tolga Bozoglu/EPA/LANDOV

The dirt and gravel at the Baharka displacement camp in northern Iraq will turn to a sea of freezing mud in the winter rain. Aid workers say they don't have enough blankets and winter clothing for all those displaced by the advance of ISIS. Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images