Few doubt that the US-backed alliance will beat the Islamic State out of the Iraqi city of Mosul. But solving that problem is expected to unleash new struggles in Iraq and beyond. Here are some of the biggest challenges ahead.
A major offensive against ISIS forces is under way in Iraq, and the Iraqi army is getting plenty of support from Iran and its Iraqi Shiite allies. One country that isn't getting involved, however, is the United States.
Last week, a group of ISIS fighters destroyed ancient statues and artifacts in the museum of Mosul. Iraqi government responded on Sunday by re-opening the Baghdad Museum, giving people in Baghdad their first glimpse of national treasures in more than a decade.
When ISIS seized control of Mosul, Iraqi policemen and soldiers fled. Now some of those men are training to try and reclaim Iraq's second-largest city. Yet the support they'll need to beat ISIS doesn't yet seem to be in place.
In the chaos following the invasion of Iraq by ISIS militants, Kurdish militias have taken control of oil facilities near Kirkuk — and brought Kurdish oil workers along with them. Baghdad claims it's a power grab, but the Kurds say they're only protecting what's naturally theirs.
ISIS militants have persecuted non-Islamic Iraqis as they've taken control of parts of northern Iraq. In some cases, particularly that of the Yazidi sect, escaping ISIS has meant fleeing on a moment's notice and taking huge risks to stay alive.
Iraq has a new problem on its hands: A political showdown between current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his would-be successor. And the wrangling and potential violence are taking place against a backdrop of a massive humanitarian crisis and American intervention in northern Iraq.
The Mosul Dam is vital to Iraq, but it's one of the most dangerous dams in the world. Without constant upkeep, which is threatened because of fighting over the dam, it's at risk of collapsing and sending a tidal wave down the Tigris River
More than half of all Iraqis are under the age of 20. But as most of the country is gripped by violence and instability, opportunities for young Iraqis are evaporating, and more and more are emigrating abroad. One group of friends say they’re determined to break that trend.
American credibility is on the line as the US prepares to act against ISIS, but no one has more at stake than those who live in or have loved ones in the militant group's path. In the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, those people are eagerly awaiting President Obama's speech.
In recent months, Iraqi Christians have been displaced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Christian leaders in northern Iraq are calling upon young Christian men fight alongside the Peshmerga and Iraqi army against ISIS. While thousands are heeding the call, most remain skeptical.
Figures suggest that thousands of Iraqi women from the minority Yazidi sect are being subjected to rape, forced conversions and forced marriages by the militant group ISIS. But even those who have escaped the violence have uncertain futures.
Fighters from ISIS, the militant Islamist group in Iraq and Syria, have taken over large parts of Iraq and threaten many others. Most ordinary Iraqis can't do much to stop them, but they can turn to a new show called "State of Myths" that mocks the group.