In the heat of summer in 2014, Baghdad was spooked. A third of Iraq was under the control of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS. The extremist group thrived in the chaos of the Syrian civil war, then surged over the border into Iraq and took over the cities of Mosul and Tikrit. People worried the capital might be next.
Six months on, that's changed. On New Year's Eve, for instance, the usual midnight curfew was lifted and people partied in the streets and uploaded videos of themselves letting off fireworks.
23:24 Evidence of a ‘difficult fight’ ahead as forces move toward ISIS-held Mosul
01:24 Battle for Mosul Tests Obama Strategy to Shift Fight’s Burden From U.S8 7
12:07 Iraqis Retake Christian Region Outside Mosul From ISIS3
07:46 Defense Secretary Carter visits Iraq to assess operation to retake Mosul2