Violence has escalated in Iraq in recent weeks as the Sunni Islamist militant group ISIS has seized control of numerous cities and continued its advance toward the capital, Baghdad. Here is a primer to help understand the ongoing developments in the troubled nation:

  1. Valley gouged into earth by retreating Iraqi troops
  2. Truck not slowing down for checkpoint
  3. Ethnic, religious lines
  4. Field of wind turbines that this whole thing is really about
  5. Tantalizing mirage of sectarian unity
  6. Spot where American soldier lost four of his buddies for some vague, difficult-to-recall reason
  7. Lesser headache
  8. Brutal Chevron/BP infighting
  9. Charred remains of democracy
  10. Child given sweets by U.S. soldiers in 2006 steadying rocket launcher on shoulder
  11. Ancient Mesopotamian site known as the Cradle Of Disagreement
  12. Budding terrorist group we’ll have to worry about next year
  13. Lone Haliburton employee trying to rebuild entire nation
  14. NYU Basra Campus
  15. Area U.S. currently hoping to avoid at all costs