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.
ISIS is dominating the headlines, but how much do we really know about the brutal terrorist group? How did ISIS become a major force so quickly? You may be shocked to learn that their startling rise to power may be followed by a relatively quick fall from grace.
Jordan Matson, from Racine, Wisconsin, was once a soldier in the US Army. Today Matson is a volunteer fighter with a Kurdish militia in northern Syria, fighting against ISIS and hoping to bring more Americans over to join the war.
Refugees pouring into the makeshift camps in northern Iraq will soon face yet another disaster: winter. Temperatures are expected to fall below zero as winter approaches, and aid agencies are unable to cope with the massive number of needy Iraqis trying to escape ISIS.
Everyone agrees that ISIS needs to be stopped in Iraq and Syria, but there's almost no agreement among Western countries and their allies on how to get rid of Bashar al-Assad. And as they focus on terrorist groups, they may find themselves actually turning to Assad for help.
The Syrian city of Kobane has survived a 25th day under siege from the forces of ISIS. But the defenders are increasingly wary of the night, when coalition jets go home and ISIS launches attacks, and many Kurds fear the air campaign isn't enough to save the city.
With Kurdish fighters in the city of Kobane trapped between ISIS attacks and Turkish indifference, anger inside Turkey is building. Nineteen Kurdish protesters were killed overnight, and it looks like Kobane may still surrender to ISIS despite US airstrikes.
The US and its allies have been bombing ISIS for almost two months now. But the militants are continuing to advance and are now threatening the Syrian city of Kobane, on the border with Turkey, while Iraq and its Western allies are making piecemeal progress.
Who's to blame? Two militant groups have taken credit. Pakistan's army blames a third group. And some point fingers at the army itself, accusing security forces of fostering the very extremist groups now attacking the country.
The Islamic State starts the new year under more pressure than it has faced since it erupted onto the scene in 2014. ISIS itself is losing territory, men and money. But it's still able to lash out as we've seen this weekend in Istanbul and Baghdad.