Iraq

Displaced Iraqis, who were forced to flee their home because of Islamic State's advance earlier this year, queue for humanitarian aid that is being distributed by the Barzani Charity Foundation after being delivered by lorries from the Polish charity SOS FOR LIFE at a refugee camp near Zakho in Duhok, Iraq

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Displaced Iraqis, who were forced to flee their home because of Islamic State’s advance earlier this year, queue for humanitarian aid that is being distributed by the Barzani Charity Foundation after being delivered by lorries from the Polish charity SOS FOR LIFE at a refugee camp near Zakho in Duhok, Iraq

A police officer stands guard as Shia pilgrims make their way to the holy city of Kerbala, ahead of the holy Shia ritual of Arbaeen, in Baghdad, December 10, 2014. Arbaeen falls 40 days after the holy day of Ashura.

Ahmed Saad/Reuters

A police officer stands guard as Shia pilgrims head to the holy city of Kerbala, ahead of the holy Shia ritual of Arbaeen, in Baghdad on Wednesday. Arbaeen falls 40 days after the holy day of Ashura

 An Iraqi Christian, who fled from her home because of Islamic State's advance earlier this year, hangs up washed clothes to dry besides a displaced persons camp near Umm al-Nour Church, which is now home to hundreds of displaced Iraqi Christians in Erbil, Iraq.  Although the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq was already a refuge for an estimated 250,000 Syrian refugees, since the Islamic State began its onslaught on Iraq in June, Kurdistan has also taken in a more than one and a half million displaced people. Many have been placed in purpose-built refugee camps but the huge numbers mean thousands of others are forced to live in un-finished buildings or inadequate, makeshift shelters and as winter in the region closes in, there are growing concerns for the welfare of the refugees who, while their homes are still in ISIL controlled territory, have no realistic prospect of returning to them.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

An Iraqi Christian, who fled from her home because of Islamic State’s advance earlier this year, hangs up washed clothes to dry besides a displaced persons’ camp near Umm al-Nour Church, which is now home to hundreds of displaced Iraqi Christians in Erbil, Iraq.

An Iraqi craftsman prepares to heat up metal at a workshop in a market in Baghdad on December 2, 2014. The International Monetary Fund said in its October World Economic Outlook that Iraq's gross domestic product is forecast to shrink by 2.7 percent this year, down from the 5.9 percent growth it forecast in April.

Ahmad Al-Rubate/AFP

An Iraqi craftsman prepares to heat up metal at a workshop in a market in Baghdad on Tuesday

Iraqi security forces march on the outskirts of Najaf, south of Baghdad November 19, 2014.

Alaa Al-Marjani /Reuters

Iraqi security forces march on the outskirts of Najaf, south of Baghdad on Wednesday

Iraqi Shiite Muslim worshipers self-flagellate during a ceremony marking Ashura, which commemorates the seventh century slaying of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, in the mainly Shiite southern city of Basra on November 3, 2014.

Haidar Mohammed/AFP

Iraqi Shia Muslims self-flagellate in Basra during a ceremony to mark Ashura, which commemorates the seventh century slaying of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed.

Boys inspect the site of double car bombings in the northern Shiite district al-Hurriyah in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. On Tuesday, officials say a wave of bombings targeted commercial areas across Iraq, killing and wounding dozens of people. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

Karim Kadim/AP

Boys inspect the site of double car bombings in the northern Shia district al-Hurriyah in Baghdad, Iraq. On Tuesday, officials say a wave of bombings targeted commercial areas across the country, killing and wounding dozens of people 

A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq...A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria, in this U.S. Air Force handout photo taken early in the morning of September 23, 2014. These aircraft were part of a large coalition strike package that was the first to strike ISIL targets in Syria. At least 14 Islamic State fighters were killed in air strikes by U.S.-led forces overnight in northeast Syria, a group monitoring the war said on September 25, 2014, and the Syrian air force bombed rebel areas in the west of the country. REUTERS/U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Matthew Bruch/Handout  (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS.

US Air Force/Reuters

A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria, in this U.S. These aircraft were part of a large coalition strike package that was the first to strike ISIS targets in Syria. At least 14 Islamic State fighters were killed in air strikes by U.S.-led forces overnight in northeast Syria, a group monitoring the war said on Thursday and the Syrian air force bombed rebel areas in the west of the country.

Kurdish peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants on the front line in Khazir, September 16, 2014.

Azad Lashkari/Reuters

Kurdish peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants on the front line in Khazir

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells towards Zummar, controlled by Islamic State (IS), near Mosul September 15, 2014.

Ahmed Jadallah /Reuters

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells towards Zummar, controlled by Islamic State (IS), near Mosul in Iraq