In Iraq, Summer Break Means Learning How to Fight ISIS - NBC Connecticut
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In Iraq, Summer Break Means Learning How to Fight ISIS



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    Iraqi students attend a 15-day weapons and first aid training course given by Iraqi officers from the interior ministry at the university of technology in Baghdad on August 5, 2015. The training is part of a national effort to be ready for any surprise attack by jihadist groups, following a call last year by Iraq's Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to fight the threat of the Islamic State (IS) group across the country.

    Summer offers American college kids the chance to go on vacation or get a part-time job. But Iraqi students are using their downtime to learn how to fight ISIS, by order of Iraq's Education Ministry.

    Shahad Haider, 25, can usually be found working toward her master's degree in media studies. Now classes have finished for the summer at the University of Baghdad, she is learning how to dismantle and operate an AK-47 assault rifle.

    "This is the first time I have ever carried a weapon," she told NBC News during a recent visit to her training session.

    Every college and university not in territory controlled by ISIS must train their students to fight the extremists, in a move prompted by a call-to-arms by the country's top Shiite cleric.