Iraqi forces took control of the two largest oil fields in the disputed northern province of Kirkuk on Tuesday demolishing Kurdish hopes of creating a viable independent state.
Sweden may seem far removed from the conflict in Iraq and Syria, but for a group of Kurdish Swedes, the battle is real — on Facebook.
ISIS-controlled Mosul is just two hours away from the Iraqi city of Erbil. But youth in the Kurdish capital aren't cowering. Instead they are swimming, bowling and enjoying new movies and Chinese restaurants.
One day, Dean Parker was watching the news on TV. The next he was packing up body armor and preparing to fight with Kurdish forces against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria. Now he's looking for a flight home — and knows he has some explaining to do to the FBI and Homeland Security.
Just a few months ago, Erbil — the de-facto capital of Iraq’s northern Kurdish region — was riding high on an economic oil and gas boom. That all came to a halt when ISIS militants took over nearby Mosul. Now those half-finished buildings are home to displaced Iraqi families.
Had things been a little different, Jiyayi Suleyman might have been a peshmerga fighter alongside his uncle and other Kurdish troops. Instead he's a police office in Nashville trying to keep the city's residents there safe.
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.
The Kurdish militia known as the peshmerga has stepped in to fight ISIS in many parts of northern Iraq. And hundreds of women have joined as fighters, with the support of their families and community.