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

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