Missions. Snipers. ISIS compounds.

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August 17, 2016 

BuzzFeed News reports from the front lines of the US ground war against ISIS in Iraq. Australia and Papua New Guinea are “working towards” the closure of the Manus Island immigration detention center. And a massive California wildfire has forced more than 80,000 people to evacuate.



A look at what US forces are really doing on the ground in Iraq as they fight against ISIS.

US soldiers are often much closer to — and much more involved in — the fighting against ISIS than the public has been led to think.

BuzzFeed News' Mike Giglio visited front lines across northern Iraq and spoke to local soldiers who revealed details of the role elite US special operations forces are playing, including kill-or-capture missions, sniper attacks, and pounding ISIS positions with mortars and artillery. Other specialized US troops can be found ordering airstrikes, flying surveillance drones, and carrying out mortar strikes.

Rare photographs from Camp Swift, a base for US forces that is helping the Iraqi army and peshmerga in their mission to recapture the northern city of Mosul. Warzer Jaff for BuzzFeed News



Fire and flooding in America.

In California: A fast-moving wildfire scorched through 15,000 acres Tuesday in Southern California, closing a major interstate and forcing more than 82,000 people to evacuate. The fire was sparked as temperatures in the area soared above 100 degrees Fahrenheit with very low humidity. The governor has declared a state of emergency.

Flames off of Highway 138 as the wildfire rages through San Bernardino County. Kevin Warn/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

In Louisiana: At least 10 people have died and more than 20,000 people have been rescued after historic flooding hit the region. As of Monday, 8,098 people were in shelters, at least 40,000 homes were impacted by the disaster, and around 34,000 meters were without electricity. President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in the state.

Here are photos that show just how catastrophic the floods are. Max Becherer / AP Photo


The latest from the Olympics in Rio.

  • Team USA’s Simone Biles collected her fourth gold medal Tuesday after winning the women’s floor exercise. Her teammate Aly Raisman took the silver.

  • For the men, Danell Leyva took home two silver medals, capping off the most successful games ever for the US gymnastics team, with a record 12 medals.

  • French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie was in tears as he was awarded the silver medal amid a swarm of boos and whistles from Brazilian fans.

  • Runner Jenny Simpson won bronze in the women’s 1,500-meter race, earning the USA its first-ever medal in the event.

In what can only be called an act of true sportsmanship, New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin stopped in her women’s 5,000-meter semi-final to walk the USA’s injured Abbey D’Agostino to the finish line. Patrick Smith / Getty Images



  • US presidential election: The Spanish-speaking Mormons who did Hispanic outreach for Mitt Romney in 2012 were a unique weapon, one that Donald Trump has ensured is not available to him.
  • In Oz: Australia and Papua New Guinea are “working towards” the closure of the Manus Island immigration detention center.

  • UK news: Activist groups have accused police of institutional racism over the use of Tasers in the wake of the death of former Premier League soccer player Dalian Atkinson. And British hate preacher Anjem Choudary is facing up to 10 years in jail after being found guilty of supporting ISIS.

  • Biz & tech: Univision is buying Gawker for $135 million two months after the latter filed for bankruptcy following Hulk Hogan's privacy suit. And legacy automaker Ford plans to put self-driving cars on the road by 2021.

  • Entertainment: Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have agreed to resolve their divorce privately. Heard will donate her settlement proceeds to charity. Caitlyn Jenner’s reality show I Am Cait is ending after just two seasons on E! And Taylor Swift is donating $1 million to Louisiana flood relief.

  • #MissingType campaign: The letters A, B, and O are being dropped from iconic signs and landmarks around the world to raise awareness of the need for blood donations.

A lifeguard in Sydney, Australia, wears “Bondi Beach” trunks with the letters A, B, and O omitted as part of the blood donations campaign.. NHS Blood And Transplant / PA


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