Displaced Yezidi people re-enter Iraq from Syria at Fishkhabour, Dohuk Province, August 10, 2014.
Ari Jalal / Courtesy Reuters

When U.S. President Barack Obama announced on August 7 that the U.S. military would launch airstrikes on Iraq to stem the advance of the militant group Islamic State (IS), formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), it was quite a dramatic turnaround.

For the time being, the mission will be limited in scope. Beyond offering military advice to the Iraqi military, which the Obama administration had already been providing, the United States will hit at IS targets that are seen to be threatening U.S. interests in and around Bagdad and Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish

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