Isis militants have joined up with Sunni tribesmen to maintain their offensive in Iraq.
The centre of their attention is the country's most important economic asset; oil.
As the Iraqi army clashes with insurgents for control of the major oil refinery at Baiji, President Obama has been discussing plans for US involvement in the crisis with congressional leaders.
The Foreign Secretary has been clear on the threat of Isis, but he has ruled out the prospect of any UK military involvement in the crisis.
Iraq’s foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, is a natural diplomat. Polite, immaculately dressed, and blessed with a great memory.
Isis has paraded military equipment in Mosul it captured from when the Iraqi army fled in what some see as a "nightmare scenario."