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.
Move over, al-Qaeda: The militants of ISIS are becoming a huge concern for counterterrorism officials as they gain battlefield experience and recruit new jihadis from as far away as Europe and the United States.
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.
Nahida Ahmed Rashid began her military career years ago, fighting for the Kurdish separatist cause. Now she's the highest-ranking woman in the Kurdish peshmerga and squaring off with her troops against Islamic militants who've taken northern Iraq by storm.
Iraq's prime minister is putting aside his differences with Kurdish forces in the north of Iraq as both groups fight militants from ISIS. The United States is also finding an unusual ally in Iran as both countries try to shore up the government in Baghdad.
The Sunni militants who've rampaged through parts of Iraq have reportedly executed many Shiites in Iraq's army. In territories conquered by the militants, Sunnis wonder if they will be the ones to suffer for this violence if Iraq's army recaptures their towns.
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