Slideshow

Turmoil in Iraq

Thousands flee their homes as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria gain more ground.

June 12, 2014, 9:01 a.m.

With the forces of the Is­lam­ic State in Ir­aq and Syr­ia tak­ing con­trol of the cit­ies of Mo­sul and Tikrit, much of the ground taken by the U.S. and Ir­aqi gov­ern­ment forces are un­der threat just two and a half years after the last U.S. sol­diers left the coun­try. 

A man displays Iraqi army body armour in front of an Iraqi army vehicle and other items of military kit, at the Kukjali Iraqi Army checkpoint, some 10km of east of the northern city of Mosul, on June 11, 2014, the day after Sunni militants iincluding fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) overran the city. Half a million people were estimated to have fled Iraq's second largest city, as Islamist militants tightened their grip after overrunning it and a swathe of other territory, patrolling its streets and calling for government employees to return to work.  AFP/Getty Images
Iraqi Shiite mourners carry the coffin of a soldier killed in clashes with anti-government fighters the previous day in Fallujah during his funeral procession on June 10, 2014, in the shrine city of Najaf, in central Iraq.  AFP/Getty Images
An Iraqi man in wheelchair fleeing violence in the northern Nineveh province arrives at a Kurdish checkpoint in Aski kalak, 40 kms West of Arbil, in the autonomous Kurdistan region, on June 11, 2014. Since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria began their spectacular assault in Mosul late on June 9, militants have captured a large swathe of northern and north-central Iraq, prompting as many as half a million people to flee their homes. AFP/Getty Images
Iraqi families fleeing violence in the northern Nineveh province gather at a Kurdish checkpoint in Aski kalak, 40 kms West of Arbil, in the autonomous Kurdistan region, on June 11, 2014. Since the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant began their spectacular assault in Mosul late on June 9, militants have captured a large swathe of northern and north-central Iraq, prompting as many as half a million people to flee their homes.  AFP/Getty Images
An Iraqi Kurdish security guard (Peshmerger) stands guard as Iraqi families fleeing violence in the northern Nineveh province gather at a Kurdish checkpoint in Aski kalak, 40 kms West of Arbil, in the autonomous Kurdistan region, on June 11, 2014. Since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) began their spectacular assault in Mosul late on June 9, militants have captured a large swathe of northern and north-central Iraq, prompting as many as half a million people to flee their homes.  AFP/Getty Images
Iraqi firemen extinguish fire from the wreckage of a car following a car bomb explosion in the city of Nasiriyah, south of the capital Baghdad, on June 2, 2014. Clashes and shelling yesterday in and around the conflict-hit Iraqi city of Fallujah, which lies just a short drive from Baghdad, killed also 22 people.  AFP/Getty Images
Iraqi Shiite mourners carry the coffin of a victim of attacks the previous day in Baghdad, on June 12, 2014, in the shrine city of Najaf, in central Iraq. Bombings that included a suicide attack on tribal leaders in Baghdad hit Shiite areas of central and southern Iraq on June 11, killing at least 37 people, officials said. In the Sadr City area of northern Baghdad, at least 15 people died and 34 were hurt when a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside a tent where local Shiite tribal leaders were meeting.  AFP/Getty Images
An Iraqi policeman mans a checkpoint in the capital Baghdad on June 12, 2014, as jihadists and anti-government fighters have spearheaded a major offensive that overrun all of Nineveh province. Jihadists are pushing toward Baghdad after capturing a town only 90 kilometres (56 miles) to its north, in a lightning three-day offensive the Iraqi government has failed to stop.  AFP/Getty Images
Kurdish Iraqi Peshmerga forces deploy their troops and armoured vehicles on the outskirts of the multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk, only 1 kilometre away from areas controlled by Sunni Muslim Jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in northern Iraq on June 12, 2014. With ISIL's Islamist fighters closing in on the Iraqi capital Baghdad, forces from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region took control of disputed northern oil hub of Kirkuk to protect it from Islamist attack, officials said.  AFP/Getty Images
Children walk outside tents at a temporary camp set up to shelter Iraqis fleeing violence in Iraq's northern Nineveh province on June 12, 2014, in Aski kalak, 40 kms West of Arbil, in the autonomous Kurdistan region. Thousands of people who fled Iraq's second city of Mosul after it was overrun by jihadists wait in the blistering heat, hoping to enter the safety of the nearby Kurdish region and furious at Baghdad's failure to help them. many as half a million people are thought to have fled Mosul, which was captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Tuesday after a spectacular assault that routed the army.  AFP/Getty Images
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