Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Mughdeed talks to the men he commands to protect the Mosul dam, a critical piece of infrastructure that supplies water and electricity. The dam is now close to the front line with the militants of the Islamic State in Iraq. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

A volunteer at a Christian church in Qosh, Iraq, loads aid onto a handcart Monday for delivery to displaced Shiites who are sheltering there. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

Kirkuk province's Kurdish governor, Najim al-Din Omar Karim (center, wearing a bulletproof vest), listens to a commander of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces as troops are deployed on the main road between Kirkuk, Mosul and Baiji in response to the offensive by ISIS, an extremist Islamist group. Marwan Ibrahim/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Marwan Ibrahim/AFP/Getty Images

ISIS militants at al-Sharqat base north of Tikrit, Iraq. The al-Qaida-linked group has captured Mosul as well as Tikrit. This image came from a video posted by IraqiRevolution, a group that supports ISIS. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP