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

Demonstrators chant in favor of the Islamic State and carry the group's flags in Mosul, Iraq, in June. With videos, Internet magazines and social media, the group has effectively recruited throughout the world. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP

An Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter hold his position in the mountains east of Mosul. Jim Lopez/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama speaks to the media before meeting with his Cabinet in the White House Friday. The president is ordering up to 1,500 additional military personnel to Iraq, to help Iraqi and Kurdish forces fight the extremist group ISIS. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Evan Vucci/AP

Ret. Army Sgt. 1st Class Max Voelz, 40, with Sgt. Mary Dague, 30, who helped him cope after his wife was killed disarming an IED in Iraq. They only met face-to-face recently, for their StoryCorps conversation. StoryCorps hide caption

itoggle caption StoryCorps

Iraqi Yazidi women who fled the violence in the northern Iraq take shelter in the city of Dohuk on Aug. 5. The Yazidis, are a small community that follows an ancient faith and have been repeatedly targeted by jihadists. Yazidi leaders say several thousands members of the community have gone missing in recent months. Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

Four Americans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan visit Kabul as part of Operation Proper Exit, a program designed for wounded warriors. From left, they are Staff Sgt. Ben Dellinger, Capt. Casey Wolfe, Capt. John Urquhart (who is hidden) and Sgt. James "Eddie" Wright. Sean Carberry/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sean Carberry/NPR

Iraqi soldiers walk in Jurf al-Sakhr, south of the capital Baghdad, on Monday after Iraqi military forces retook the area from Islamic State militants. Iraqi forces, supported by U.S. airstrikes, have made limited gains in recent months, but critics are questioning whether the U.S. strategy is likely to succeed. Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP/Getty Images

An explosion following an airstrike is seen in the Syrian town of Kobani from near the Mursitpinar border crossing in the southeastern town of Suruc, in Turkey's Sanliurfa province, on Wednesday. Yannis Behrakis/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Yannis Behrakis/Reuters/Landov

Three female members of Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and an Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighter stand near the front line in Makhmur, in northern Iraq, on Aug. 9. The Turkish and Iraqi Kurds have been fighting together against the Islamic State. Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

Shirley Parrello's son, Brian, died in Iraq almost ten years ago. Sgt. Kevin Powell was with him that day, and he says he can still picture Brian Parello in the moments after the IED exploded. Storycorps hide caption

itoggle caption Storycorps

Peshmerga look out from a front-line outpost — a few sandbags, soldiers, and grenades perched on the brow of a hill — to the eastern Iraqi town of Jalula. The Kurdish fighters are grappling with how to combat changing ISIS tactics. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

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

When Sgt. Paul Braun (right) first met Philip, the Iraqi interpreter assigned to his company, he didn't trust him. But after his tour was over, he worked for years to get Philip a visa to come to the U.S. Storycorps hide caption

itoggle caption Storycorps

A Free Syrian Army fighter runs after attacking a tank with a rocket-propelled grenade during fighting in Aleppo, Syria, in September 2012. The rebels say they are willing to take on the Islamic State, but need more weapons. Manu Brabo/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Manu Brabo/AP