After seizing control of Mosul – Iraq’s second-largest city – on Wednesday, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continued its campaign to reestablish a united Muslim caliphate in northern Iraq and Syria, in the process forcing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi families to flee their homes. Over 500,000 people have been displaced, according to a New York Times article, while thousands more are afraid of being attacked if they try to run.
Public statements given by ISIS indicate a desire to capture other major cities in Iraq, including Baghdad, which is home to over 7 million people. Should ISIS succeed, according to the same article, the current number of refugees could increase more than twofold. That prospect is frightening to agencies such as the UNHCR, as well as refugee camps in Kurdistan, which are already over capacity. For now, all we can do is watch the Iraqi Army’s response to these attacks; the fate of the Iraqi people depends on it.