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

U.S. soldiers patrol the Taji base complex, which hosts Iraqi and U.S. troops north of the capital Baghdad. Taji is one of an eventual five sites where the U.S. and allied countries aim to train 5,000 Iraqi military personnel every six to eight weeks for combat against the so-called Islamic State. Ali al-Saadi /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ali al-Saadi /AFP/Getty Images

An Iraqi Christian prays inside a shrine on the grounds of the Mazar Mar Eillia Catholic Church in Irbil, in northern Iraq. Irbil has become home to hundreds of Iraqi Christians who fled their homes as the Islamic State advanced earlier this year. Matt Cardy/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Cardy/Getty Images

The city of Pittsburgh is hoping that drawing more skilled immigrants will give it an entrepreneurial boost. Gene J. Puskar/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Gene J. Puskar/AP

Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters arrive Saturday in Sinjar in northern Iraq, where they have made gains against the Islamic State. The Kurds were talking about independence this summer, but now appear focused on fighting the Islamic State. Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

Iraqi Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani speaks with the media at Mount Sinjar, in the town of Sinjar, on Sunday. Barzani was visiting an area that was recently retaken from ISIS militants. STRINGER/IRAQ/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption STRINGER/IRAQ/Reuters/Landov

More than 4,000 officers of the Nineveh province security force are based in an isolated training camp in northern Iraq. Their aim is retaking ISIS-controlled Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. Deborah Amos/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Deborah Amos/NPR

The Iraqi town of Halabja is dominated by Kurds, the group that has been fighting the Islamic State in northern Iraq. However, some Kurdish residents have been slipping away to join the Islamic State. Yahya Ahmad/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Yahya Ahmad/Reuters/Landov

Many Yazidis, like the ones shown here, managed to flee the onslaught of the so-called Islamic State and made their way to relative safety, like this camp near the northern Iraqi border crossing of Zakho. However, some 5,000 Yazidis, many of them women, are still being held hostage by the Islamic State. EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption EPA/Landov

Iraqi Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari announced Tuesday that the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan region have started implementing a deal under which Baghdad resumes funding Kurdish civil servant salaries in return for a share of Kurdish oil exports. Ali Abbas/EPA /LANDOV hide caption

itoggle caption Ali Abbas/EPA /LANDOV

An Iranian national shops at a popular market in the holy Iraqi Shiite city of Najaf. Recently, the city — where millions of international pilgrims visit every year — has been spared the worst of Iraq's violence. Haidar Hamdani /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Haidar Hamdani /AFP/Getty Images

An Iraqi child, whose family fled from Islamic State violence in the northern city of Mosul, stands outside a tent that serves as a school in the southern city of Najaf on Sunday. Some 2 million Iraqis have been driven from their homes by fighting this year. Alaa Al-Marjani /Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Alaa Al-Marjani /Reuters/Landov

Sunni tribesmen train on the outskirts of Ramadi, Iraq, on Nov. 16. Legislation authorizing a force of Sunni fighters drawn from Anbar province itself — modeled on the U.S. National Guard — has yet to be passed. Ali al-Mashhadani/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Ali al-Mashhadani/Reuters/Landov

Islamic State fighters march in Raqqa, Syria. The group has killed five Western hostages in recent months. In the 1990s, many radical Islamist groups gave interviews to journalists and refrained from kidnapping Westerners. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP

Construction workers in Irbil, in the Kurdish north of Iraq, work on Kurdish business tycoon Shihab Shihab's version of the White House. Leila Fadel/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Leila Fadel/NPR

Iraqi Kurdish soldiers, or peshmerga, patrol an area in the recently recaptured town of Zumar, near Mosul in northern Iraq on Oct. 29. When the Islamic State captured the town in August, the Kurds fled. Now that the Kurds are in control, the Arabs are all gone. STR/EPA /LANDOV hide caption

itoggle caption STR/EPA /LANDOV