Iraqi Kurdistan / by Lewis McKinnon

July showed both advances and setbacks in the interminable fight against Islamic State (ISIS) forces in Iraq. In mid-July, the Iraqi government announced plans to recapture Fallujah from ISIS control, a campaign for which it hoped to receive support from Sunni clans in the Anbar province. The US continued its efforts to galvanize Sunni clan leaders to cooperate with the predominantly Shi'ite government, despite refusal by the latter to supply the former with armaments. US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter made his first visit to Iraq at the end of the month, and expressed willingness to provide even more military training and support to beleaguered Iraqi troops on the condition that they not abandon their posts when threatened by an ISIS onslaught. At the very end of the month, the Iraqi government declared a four-day holiday due to unprecedented high temperatures in the region. Both the International Monetary Fund and Canada promised sums of $1.24 billion and $8.3 million, respectively, in emergency aid to Iraq to counter the myriad harmful side effects of the conflict with ISIS.