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Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, purportedly seen here in video posted in 2014, had not been heard publicly for nearly a year — until Thursday, when ISIS released a possible audio recording of Baghdadi. AP hide caption

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AP

Kurds wave Israeli flags at a Kurdish independence rally. Israel is the only country in the region to support the referendum. Jane Arraf/NPR hide caption

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Jane Arraf/NPR

What To Know About The Independence Referendum In Iraqi Kurdistan

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A camp where more than 1,300 women and children, all foreign nationals and believed to be relatives of Islamic State militants, were kept on the outskirts of Mosul. They have been moved by Iraqi officials, to the concern of aid agencies. Balint Szlanko/AP hide caption

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Balint Szlanko/AP

Bashar Abdul Jabar lost his 15-year-old son, Ahmed, when part of their house collapsed during fighting between Iraqi troops and ISIS. He returned to the city to retrieve his boy's body with the help of civil defense forces. Jane Arraf/NPR hide caption

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Jane Arraf/NPR

This composite photo shows former Blackwater guards Dustin Heard (from left), Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough. A federal appeals court has thrown out a murder conviction against Slatten and ordered resentencing of the other three men. AP hide caption

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AP

Ruins are all that remain of the 12th century Great Mosque of al-Nuri, where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared three years ago that an Islamic state was rising again. ISIS blew the mosque up as Iraqi forces advanced. Jane Arraf/NPR hide caption

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Jane Arraf/NPR

Iraqi civilians in Mosul's Old City flash the "victory" sign as they celebrate the government's announcement of the "liberation" of the embattled city Sunday. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

The ravaged Great Mosque of al-Nuri, as seen through rubble in the Old City of Mosul on Thursday. Iraqi forces say they've recaptured the landmark, where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the group's "caliphate" in 2014. Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

The Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, with its tall, leaning al-Hadba minaret, was where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the group's "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria in July 2014. Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

Iraqi forces advance towards Mosul's Old City on Sunday, an offensive to retake the last district in the city still held by the Islamic State. Military commanders say the assault began at dawn after overnight airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images