18.6.2014 – CNN on Tuesday conveyed reports that Islamist militants loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have made significant gains outside of Baghdad, where fighters are advancing on the city of Baquba and where more than 50 people were killed when ISIS militants used hand grenades to attack a local prison.

The news comes a day after the publication of a Daily Beast report detailing Iranian offers to Baghdad of among other things its army and spies in an effort to curb the advance of ISIS across the country. The Daily Beast cited senior Iraqi officials as saying that the offers of assistance came “from the highest levels of the Iranian government.” The Daily Beast report will be read alongside the 2013 State Department country-by-country report [PDF] released last month, which slammed Tehran for supporting both Sunni and Shiite fighters across the region and globally. Iranian efforts to sustain the Shiite expansionism of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki have alienated Iraqi Sunnis, making regions of the country hospitable for the current Sunni-led insurgency.