In what many consider the most serious spillover of the Syrian conflict into a neighbouring country (others grant that honour to the car explosion that took place in Beirut last year), approximately 40 Syrian soldiers who were escaping from rebel attacks and crossed the border with Iraq and were accompanied by Iraqi soldiers were killed by unidentified gunmen (some blame Al-Qaeda, there's no evidence to that) in the Iraqi province of Anbar (a Western territory with, coincidentally, a Sunni majority and also epicenter of the recent unrest). Even though the authorities claim they've not picked sides, Prime Minister's Maliki's covert support of Assad's regime has been denounced by several observers. You simply cannot back a dictator who has already massacred more than 70,000 people, wounded much more and chased away hundreds of thousands, even if you act out of strategic reckoning, and expect your population to stay quiet.
Tracking the events in Iraq - in the whole region, actually - might be a colossal task. Particularly so during the Summer, when it is sometimes even difficult to grasp a single headline. We all are aware about something called ISIS - or IS, as of lately - that seems to be messing around from Lebanon to Iran. A group of bearded man that scares everybody, the only ones able to force Obama to reconsider his mantra of non-intervention and to make Assad look like a harmless puppy. We've read about them, we've seen tons of maps showing their advance, we've heard rumours and conjectures. In case you've missed half of it, there go a few basic things you need to know about them. And yes, they are creepy!