An Iraqi child who fled fighting between the so-called Islamic State and Kurdish peshmerga is among the some 3,000 people living at the Baharka camp, near Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, on Jan. 16. Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

Traditional desserts, like these served in 2010 at the original Naranj restaurant in Damascus, offer sweet, familiar flavors at the restaurant's various locations in the Middle East. A platter like this shows up at the end of every meal at Naranj, and all the pastries are made in-house. Jan Smith/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Jan Smith/Flickr

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take positions on the outskirts of Mosul on Jan. 26. The U.S. military says an offensive to drive the Islamic State out of Mosul is expected around April or May. Azad Lashkari/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Azad Lashkari/Reuters /Landov

Training at a new camp near the front line, a mix of Arabs and Kurds prepare for an assault on Mosul in upcoming months. The men will wear balaclavas to conceal their identities while they fight, because they have family in Mosul and don't want to put their relatives at risk. Ari Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ari Shapiro/NPR

Iraq is preparing to take back Mosul, a senior U.S. military official says. Earlier this month, government-backed Sunni Arab tribesmen who've been training to fight ISIS marched northeast of Mosul, in northern Iraq. Yaser Jawad/Xinhua /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Yaser Jawad/Xinhua /Landov

Saudi Arabia's Prince Turki al-Faisal, shown in 2013 in Bahrain, says the 'pinpricks' against the Islamic State have not been effective. The former intelligence chief also says the campaign needs to be better coordinated. Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty hide caption

itoggle caption Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty

Before ISIS attacked it, the northern Iraqi town of Snuny had a population of nearly 150,000 — a mix of Kurdish Muslims and Yazidis, who belong to a religious ethnic minority in this region. Only about 10,000 have returned after Kurdish fighters reclaimed the city. Ari Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ari Shapiro/NPR

The temple of Sharfadin in Northern Iraq is 800 years old, and followers of the Yazidi religion consider it one of the most sacred sites in the world. Though ISIS tried to destroy it, a small group of Yazidi fighters kept the shrine standing. Ari Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ari Shapiro/NPR

An Iraqi man inspects the remains of what are believed to be members of the Yazidi minority, in the northern village of Sinuni on Feb. 3. Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

NBC's Brian Williams, seen here on Nov. 13, 2014, has apologized for incorrectly saying he was aboard a helicopter in Iraq in 2003 that was hit and forced down by enemy fire. Julio Cortez/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Julio Cortez/AP

NBC News anchor Brian Williams with his daughter, actress Allison Williams, and his wife Jane Williams at HBO's "Girls" fourth season premiere party in New York. Evan Agostini/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Evan Agostini/AP

NBC's Brian Williams, seen here on Nov. 13, 2014, has apologized for incorrectly saying he was aboard a helicopter in Iraq in 2003 that was hit and forced down by enemy fire. Julio Cortez/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Julio Cortez/AP

Iraqi Sunni fighters from the Jubur tribe hold a flag in front of a house damaged during clashes with the Islamic State in the village of Sharween, northeast of Baghdad, on Jan. 27. The U.S. is trying to get more Sunni tribes to drop their support for ISIS and fight with the Iraqi government and the Americans. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

Father Najeeb Michaeel shows off one of the many Christian manuscripts he saved from Iraq's Christian libraries. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls delivers his speech during an homage to the 17 victims of last week terrorist attacks, at the French national Assembly in Paris on Tuesday. Remy de la Mauviniere/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Remy de la Mauviniere/AP

Young members of the Baghdad Rowing Club practice on the river Tigris, close to the University of Mustansiriyah in the Iraqi capital. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

Iraqi crowds cheer as the countdown and fireworks begin during a New Year's Day celebration at Firdos Square in Baghdad on Wednesday. Hadi Mizban/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Hadi Mizban/AP

NPR's Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama on Dec. 17 in the Oval Office, where they discussed U.S. involvement in the Middle East and the world as a whole. Kainaz Amaria/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Kainaz Amaria/NPR