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.
Donald Trump has repeatedly said that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the co-founders of ISIS. He later tweeted he was just being sarcastic. But where did ISIS come from and what role, if any, did the US play in its rise?
Among the many disturbing aspects of the execution of journalist James Foley is the fact that it was part of a deliberate PR campaign. Groups like ISIS rely on hundreds of tech-savvy foreign fighters from the West to disseminate their radical vision — often with success.
ISIS moves may not make much practical military or political sense, but that violent illogic may be part of the group's appeal to recruits. And despite their errors, they don't appear to be on the verge of defeat any time soon.
Paulien Bakker has been reporting from Iraq since 2008. For her, it’s the real stories of Iraqis that count. Stories about people like Khduer Hawakeen who weighed 538 pounds and after watching the American TV show “The Biggest Loser” became determined to lose weight.
Last week President Barack Obama looked for a template for solving the problems in Iraq and Syria, and he pointed to Yemen, where the US is partnering with the government to combat al-Qaeda. But scholar Gregory Johnsen says that model may not work in Iraq — and may not work even in Yemen.