For the first time since American troop withdrawal in 2011, the U.S. conducted multiple airstrikes in Iraq this week. Aimed at halting the advance of Islamic State militants in the north, the U.S. attacks are the start of what President Barack Obama called a “long-term project” in the region. The U.S. also worked to free tens of thousands of Christian minorities trapped by Islamic State fighters. In Baghdad, political tensions rose sharply. Despite increasing pressure from Washington, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to relinquish power to his newly nominated replacement. The latest on Iraq, and the U.S. role there.