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Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« on: June 10, 2014, 01:11:42 PM »
http://time.com/2852097/iraq-mosul-extremists/

Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists

Karl Vick @karl_vick
  12:06 PM ET
      
Iraqis fleeing violence in the Nineveh province wait in their vehicles at a Kurdish checkpoint in Aski Kalak, 25 miles West of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on June 10, 2014.

Iraqis fleeing violence in the Nineveh province wait in their vehicles at a Kurdish checkpoint in Aski Kalak, 25 miles west of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on June 10, 2014.

Safin Hamed—AFP/Getty Images

Soldiers fled their posts in Mosul as the extremist ISIS claimed its biggest prize in Iraq, deepening al-Maliki's crisis

The fall of Iraq’s second largest city to Islamist extremists Tuesday sends an alarming message about the deterioration of a country where the United States spent eight years, 4,500 lives and $1.7 trillion. Mosul, a city of 1.8 million located in the far north of the country, long cultivated a reputation as a military town. But Iraqi soldiers threw down their guns and stripped off their uniforms as the insurgents approached on Tuesday, according to officials stunned by the collapse of its defenses.

“When the battle got tough in the city of Mosul, the troops dropped their weapons and abandoned their posts, making it an easy prey for the terrorists,” Osama Nuajaifi, the speaker of Iraq’s parliament who hails from Mosul, said during a news conference in Baghdad. “Everything is fallen. It’s a crisis. Having these terrorist groups control a city in the heart of Iraq threatens not only Iraq but the entire region.”

The fall of Mosul after only four days of fighting speaks volumes about both the state of Iraqi forces and the depth of the sectarian division at the bleeding heart of the nation’s ongoing crisis: The population of Mosul is mostly Sunni, and the central government led by prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is widely criticized as favoring the country’s Shiite majority. Al-Maliki is likely to remain in office after the April 30 elections left him with the largest share of votes and negotiating chiefly with other Shiite parties to form a new governing coalition.

The insurgents—who raised black flags over parts of the city Tuesday—are Sunni extremists known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a group al-Qaeda disowned as too extreme.

“Iraq is undergoing a difficult stage,” al-Maliki said at a televised news conference, after asking parliament to declare a state of emergency. The premier confirmed that militants controlled much of Mosul, and that soldiers had deserted their posts. News reports said militants had overrun the airport, gaining access to military helicopters, and had cranes moving blast walls—erected as protection against terrorist car bombs—to reinforce their positions and block roads against a counterattack. Police stations had been overrun and set afire, and the doors of at least one jail flung open: The Associated Press quoted residents who saw prisoners running down the street still wearing their yellow jump suits.

Terrified residents were streaming out of the city—the International Organization for Migration reports 500,000 people have left their homes since Saturday—and there were reports that water and electricity were cut off. On its Twitter account, ISIS gloated about seizing arms and vehicles abandoned by the city’s supposed defenders. Elsewhere in the country, its fighters have been spotted driving Humvees captured from government forces in previous encounters.

The situation was dire in more ways than one. Besides its symbolic importance as Iraq’s second-largest city—and the historic home of the country’s oil industry—Mosul has crucial strategic significance. It sits near both Turkey and the largely autonomous Kurdish zone of northern Iraq, but most importantly functions as Iraq’s most prominent doorway to Syria, where ISIS emerged as one of the main rebel forces arrayed against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Led by an Iraqi, ISIS has ranged freely across a international border that separates the countries far more on maps than in reality. The conflicts raging in both Syria and Iraq are grounded in sectarian identities—Sunni vs. Shiite—that have in crucial ways overridden national identities. The terms of the ancient conflict steepen the challenge Baghdad faces in subduing the insurrection that currently has divided Iraq between east and west. ISIS and its Sunni allies control much of Anbar province, including portions Ramadi and much of Fallujah, which lay due west of the capital. Mosul, though also home to Shiite and Kurdish populations, remained restive for most of the U.S.-occupation, and was a battleground between al-Maliki’s troops and forces associated with al-Qaeda as recently as 2008, when the premier promised a “decisive” battle for the city.

On Tuesday, al-Maliki was preparing again. Despite warnings from analysts that the insurrection was at heart a political problem that might only be worsened by a heavy-handed military response, al-Maliki announced his government had created a Crisis Unit and was preparing a counter-offensive that, according to one report, would include civilian volunteers armed by his government. Nuajaifi, the parliament speaker, warned: “They will reach every corner of Iraq if it doesn’t stop.”
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.”

Abe Lincoln

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 01:23:32 PM »
The US and the world can NOT rest comfortably with Obama, Biden, Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Chuck Hagel on the job.

And more than 2 1/2 years to go. By then we will have waged war for nearly 15 years, but quit with zero results.

It looks like Obama will have his hands on the loss of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria etc.
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.”

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2014, 01:35:07 PM »
I could tease you for being 12 hours too late on this one.  :whistle:
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Offline alicewonders

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2014, 01:35:29 PM »
The US and the world can NOT rest comfortably with Obama, Biden, Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Chuck Hagel on the job.

And more than 2 1/2 years to go. By then we will have waged war for nearly 15 years, but quit with zero results.

It looks like Obama will have his hands on the loss of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria etc.

One man's loss is another man's victory.  It's looking to me like Obama is wanting it that way - that everything is going according to plan.
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Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2014, 01:47:18 PM »
I could tease you for being 12 hours too late on this one.  :whistle:

Twelve hours ago I was watching new episodes of "Luther" on Netflix. I had put down the mouse, in favor of entertainment.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/militants-seize-provincial-hq-in-mosul-city-iraq-1402387098?mod=WSJ_h
Militants Overrun Iraq's Second-Largest City As Government Forces Flee

Mosul Strike Is Serious Blow to Baghdad's Efforts to Control Widening Insurgency
 
By Ali A. Nabhan And  Matt Bradley

Updated June 10, 2014 12:19 p.m. ET

An Iraqi Kurdish security guard gestures as families fleeing violence in Iraq's northern Nineveh province wait in their vehicles at a Kurdish checkpoint on Tuesday. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
 
BAGHDAD—Al Qaeda-inspired militants seized control of Iraq's second-largest city on Tuesday in a brazen military operation that underscored the weakness of the Baghdad government across vast swaths of the country.

Hours after government forces fled Mosul in disarray following four days of fighting, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared a nationwide "state of maximum preparedness" but didn't indicate whether government forces were mobilizing to retake the Iraqi city, 220 miles north of the capital Baghdad.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the capture of Mosul, the scene of major fighting between al Qaeda and U.S. troops and Iraqi forces during the nearly nine-year American presence in the country.

But videos point to rebels aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS. They show victorious insurgents waving black flags emblazoned with an Islamic script, which that are brandished by al Qaeda militants world-wide.

Residents of Mosul said they were shocked at the ease of the rebel takeover of government buildings, television stations and military installations where U.S.-supplied fighter airplanes, helicopters and other heavy weaponry are based.

"The whole of Mosul collapsed today. We've fled our homes and neighborhoods, and we're looking for God's mercy," said Mahmoud Al Taie, a dentist. "We are waiting to die."

The seizure of Mosul is the latest evidence of the weakness and disorganization that have beset Iraq's security forces since the U.S. forces withdrew from the country in December 2011.

If the involvement of ISIS is confirmed, it also would underline the group's determination to establish an Islamic emirate encompassing the Iraqi-Syrian frontier, weaken the already fragile Iraqi state and expand the theater of Syria's three-year-old civil war.

"ISIS is designing its campaign around the state that it believes it has already created," said Jessica Lewis, a former U.S. military intelligence officer.

"I think that means that Iraq is going to start to look more like Syria. It's a gauge of the severity of the conflict and the trajectory that it's on. That's a very bad sign," said Ms. Lewis, currently research director for the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, D.C.

The U.S.-trained and equipped Iraqi security forces, which have floundered since the U.S. pullout, haven't succeeded in thwarting ISIS's emergence as a formidable military force. Its fighters regularly launch daytime attacks against government forces and have held the city of Fallujah, 36 miles east of the capital, since early January.

Write to Matt Bradley at matt.bradley@wsj.com
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.”

Abe Lincoln

Offline EC

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2014, 01:49:30 PM »
Luther any good? I've heard a mixed bag of opinions about it, and don't get much chance to watch telly.
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Offline alicewonders

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2014, 02:57:12 PM »
Luther any good? I've heard a mixed bag of opinions about it, and don't get much chance to watch telly.

I watched it on Netflix and really liked it.

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2014, 03:23:32 PM »
I watched it on Netflix and really liked it.
Four new episodes went up on Netflix (USA) only a few days ago. He's a very convincing actor in that role.

I dropped other things I had been watching, to watch the new Luther episodes.

I have nearly exhausted the UK detective-crime genre on Netflix, so I jump on each new dosage when available. (Morse, Frost, Gently, Foyle, others etc.)

"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.”

Abe Lincoln

Offline alicewonders

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2014, 05:37:23 PM »
Four new episodes went up on Netflix (USA) only a few days ago. He's a very convincing actor in that role.

I dropped other things I had been watching, to watch the new Luther episodes.

I have nearly exhausted the UK detective-crime genre on Netflix, so I jump on each new dosage when available. (Morse, Frost, Gently, Foyle, others etc.)



 That's good to know about new episodes of Luther!  I'm the same way about British mysteries, I'm saving the last two episodes of Midsomer Murders like one would save a fine wine. 

Don't tread on me.   8888madkitty

We told you Trump would win - bigly!

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2014, 07:37:54 PM »
That's good to know about new episodes of Luther!  I'm the same way about British mysteries, I'm saving the last two episodes of Midsomer Murders like one would save a fine wine.
Prime Suspect, Wired in Blood, Hidden, The Fall, Rebus, Endeavor, Vera, Cracker, Blue Murder, Taggart, have been consumed and await further episodes or new programs.

Few American programs are equal, in my opinion. My wife got a kick from "The Following," and I like Dexter.

There is something about the British format, with a small number of episodes per season, instead of the American format with more episodes.

Recentlyh watched two part "The Great Train Robbery" after the true 1963 crime.
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.”

Abe Lincoln

Offline alicewonders

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2014, 08:40:00 PM »
Prime Suspect, Wired in Blood, Hidden, The Fall, Rebus, Endeavor, Vera, Cracker, Blue Murder, Taggart, have been consumed and await further episodes or new programs.

Few American programs are equal, in my opinion. My wife got a kick from "The Following," and I like Dexter.

There is something about the British format, with a small number of episodes per season, instead of the American format with more episodes.

Recentlyh watched two part "The Great Train Robbery" after the true 1963 crime.

I apologize for this being off-topic, but I don't get to talk British Crime and Mystery television very often.  My sister enjoys it, but my husband's eyes just glaze over when I talk about it.  Prime Suspect is one of my favorites, wonder if they'll make anymore of those?  I love the scenery in Vera and I also like Wallander with Kenneth Branagh, Miss Marple with Joan Hickson and Lovejoy - I wish they would put Lovejoy on Netflix.     :beer:
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We told you Trump would win - bigly!

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2014, 08:46:17 PM »
That is not a good sign because we cannot do anything about it and secondly it might affect the Syrian Civil War by ramping it up.

Offline alicewonders

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2014, 09:10:07 PM »
That is not a good sign because we cannot do anything about it and secondly it might affect the Syrian Civil War by ramping it up.

The Middle East is a fiery cauldron ready to boil over.

Thanks Obama.   :peeonobama:
Don't tread on me.   8888madkitty

We told you Trump would win - bigly!

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2014, 09:27:02 PM »
The Middle East is a fiery cauldron ready to boil over.

Thanks Obama.   :peeonobama:

I agree. Its the Presidents incoherent policies that is leading into to these problems.

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Re: Iraq’s Second-Largest City Falls to Extremists
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2014, 10:33:36 PM »
From the article:
[[ The fall of Iraq’s second largest city to Islamist extremists Tuesday sends an alarming message about the deterioration of a country where the United States spent eight years, 4,500 lives and $1.7 trillion. Mosul, a city of 1.8 million located in the far north of the country, long cultivated a reputation as a military town. But Iraqi soldiers threw down their guns and stripped off their uniforms as the insurgents approached on Tuesday, according to officials stunned by the collapse of its defenses. ]]

A whole lot of good we accomplished for our time, treasure, and most of all, for the blood of our young men, eh?

From the moment (not long after we overthrew Saddam) that the new Iraqi government put the clause into their new constitution that islam was the official religion of the land, I knew the struggle there was futile and lost.

I was a "get out of that place" guy before it was cool for conservatives to talk that way. There's nothing we can achieve there so long as we persist in the modus operandi that we used there, and continue to use elsewhere.

Why are we still risking the lives of our people in Afghanistan?


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