Skip to comments.Al-Qaeda rebels take Tikrit, force 500,000 to flee Mosul
Posted on 06/11/2014 11:53:57 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Tikrit may be remembered more for being Saddam Hussein’s home town. Today it fell to radical Sunni extremists linked to al-Qaeda as western Iraq spins out of Baghdad’s control. ISIS also tightened its grip on Mosul and took aim at the Iraqi oil infrastructure, hoping to establish its own transnational state with territory it controls in Syria:
Iraqi security officials say al-Qaida-inspired militants have seized the northern city of Tikrit.
The two officials in Baghdad told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Saddam Hussein’s hometown was under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, whose fighters this week took control of Mosul, the country’s second largest city.
The BBC reports that 500,000 refugees have fled Mosul to escape ISIS, and that the terrorists have seized diplomatic personnel from Turkey:
As many as 500,000 people have been forced to flee the Iraqi city of Mosul after hundreds of Islamist militants took control of it, theInternational Organization for Migration (IOM) says.
Troops were among those fleeing as the jihadists from the ISIS group took the city and much of Nineveh province.
The head of the Turkish mission in Mosul and 24 consulate officials have been seized, local sources say.
PM Nouri Maliki has asked parliament to declare a state of emergency.
The US said the development showed ISIS was a threat to the entire region.
Yes, but what is the US prepared to do about it? Not much more than cheerlead from the sidelines, according to McClatchy:
U.S. officials were quick to express solidarity with the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, who was elected to his post originally during the American occupation and whose administration the U.S. has backed with weapons shipments and military training. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States was working closely with the Maliki government, and Brett McGurk, the State Departments top diplomat for Iraq and Iran, pointed out via Twitter that U.S. and Iraqi soldiers have suffered and bled together, and we will help in time of crisis.
But the nature of that help was perhaps best encapsulated in the response of Pentagon spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby that made it clear that the U.S. was unlikely to become directly involved in Iraqs battle with ISIS. This is for the Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi government to deal with, Kirby said.
In comments Tuesday, U.S. officials left no room for direct involvement in the conflict there, where ISIS, analysts said, had demonstrated that it could successfully and simultaneously control parts of two major Iraqi cities, while battling multiple forces inside Syria, including the Lebanese militant organization Hezbollah and al Qaidas Nusra Front. …
The performance of the Iraqi military at Mosul was another source of embarrassment for American officials, who had spent billions of dollars training and equipping the Iraqi military, only to have its soldiers shed their uniforms and flee before the ISIS attackers.
As I wrote earlier, there isn’t much we can do now. Despite the predictable return of al-Qaeda and ISIS to western Iraq, the Obama administration failed to reach an agreement with the Maliki government for a residual force to support Iraq’s security services in that eventuality. We have no footprint on the ground any longer in Iraq, and other than long-range bombing missions that would do damage to the Iraqis as well as ISIS thanks to the latter’s integration into urban areas, no immediate way to impact the fight.
Our materiel on the ground is worse than useless now, thanks to the Iraqi army’s flight:
With the fall of Mosul on Tuesday, Iraqs al Qaeda offshoot has not only seized the countrys second-largest city, it appears it also has come into possession of the heavy weapons and vehicles the U.S. military had provided Iraqs military to fight them.
Thats terrible news for Americas few allies left in Iraq as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) morph from terrorist menace to a military force capable of over-running an army the U.S. military trained for nearly a decade. It also calls into question the American governments decision to withdraw the last of its forces from Iraq in 2011. Three years later that withdrawal now appears premature. …
General Najim al-Jabouri, a former mayor of Tel Afar, which is a little more than 31 miles from Mosul, told The Daily Beast the bases seized by ISIS this week would provide the group with even more heavy weapons than they currently control. The Iraqi army left helicopters, humvees, cargo planes and other heavy machine guns, along with body armor and uniforms, the general, who is now a scholar at the National Defense University, said. He said he was able to learn about the equipment from soldiers and other politicians in and around Mosul with whom he keeps in touch.
General Najim is not alone in this assessment. Jack Keane, a retired four-star Army general who was a key adviser to General David Petraeus during the counter-insurgency campaign in Iraq in 2007 and 2008 known as the surge, said ISIS has now established itself as a formidable military force.
Speaking of premature, the troops we trained to replace us ended up demoralized when confronted in the field — and are now deserting in large numbers:
After months of grinding conflict against a resurgent militant movement, the Iraqi Army is having its power blunted by a rise in desertions, turning the tide of the war and fragmenting an institution, trained and funded by the United States, that some hoped would provide Iraqis a common sense of citizenship.
In a nation tearing apart along sectarian lines, Sunnis and Shiites have served together in the military. But the defections of Sunni soldiers threatened to deepen the growing perception among Iraqs Sunnis that the military serves as an instrument of Shiite power, even while Shiites soldiers have also fled.
The toll of the desertions came into sharp relief on Tuesday, as soldiers and their commanders abandoned bases in Mosul, all but ceding Iraqs second-largest city to extremist fighters belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
The fleeing troops left weapons, vehicles and even their uniforms behind, as militants took over at least five army installations and the citys airport. In a desperate bid to stem the losses, the military was reduced to bombing its own bases to avoid surrendering more weapons to the enemy. American officials who had asserted that the $14 billion that the United States had spent on the Iraqi security forces would prepare them to safeguard the country after American troops left were forced to ponder images from Mosul of militants parading around captured Humvees.
The Wall Street Journal puts the blame on the Obama administration for its decision to completely abandon Iraq:
Since President Obama likes to describe everything he inherited from his predecessor as a “mess,” it’s worth remembering that when President Bush left office Iraq was largely at peace. Civilian casualties fell from an estimated 31,400 in 2006 to 4,700 in 2009. U.S. military casualties were negligible. Then CIA Director Michael Hayden said, with good reason, that “al Qaeda is on the verge of a strategic defeat in Iraq.”
Fast forward through five years of the Administration’s indifference, and Iraq is close to exceeding the kind of chaos that engulfed it before the U.S. surge. The city of Fallujah, taken from insurgents by the Marines at a cost of 95 dead and nearly 600 wounded in November 2004, fell again to al Qaeda in January. The Iraqi government has not been able to reclaim the entire cityjust 40 miles from Baghdad. More than 1,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in May alone, according to the Iraq Body Count web site. …
Its promise of a “diplomatic surge” in Iraq to follow the military surge of the preceding years never materialized as the U.S. washed its hands of the country. Mr. Obama’s offer of a couple thousand troops beyond 2011 was so low that Mr. Maliki didn’t think it was worth the domestic criticism it would engender. An American President more mindful of U.S. interests would have made Mr. Maliki an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Mr. Maliki had to plead for emergency military equipment when he visited the U.S. last year, and the U.S. has mostly slow-rolled the delivery of arms. Now that stocks of U.S. military supplies have fallen into ISIS’s hands in Mosul, the Administration’s instinct will be to adopt an ultra-cautious approach to further arms deliveries. Mr. Maliki is likely to depend even more on Iran for aid, increasing the spread of the Sunni-Shiite regional conflict.
The Administration’s policy of strategic neglect toward Iraq has created a situation where al Qaeda effectively controls territories stretching for hundreds of miles through Anbar Province and into Syria. It will likely become worse for Iraq as the Assad regime consolidates its gains in Syria and gives ISIS an incentive to seek its gains further east. It will also have consequences for the territorial integrity of Iraq, as the Kurds consider independence for their already autonomous and relatively prosperous region.
We gave away all that we won in Iraq, and now the same terrorist network we have explicitly named as our enemy since 9/11 is coming close to creating its own state in the Middle East, complete with standing army and American arms. We may pretend to be able to wash our hands of this outcome, but sooner or later those oil resources will generate billions of dollars that will flood terrorist accounts and fuel attacks against Israel and the US. Right now, we don’t appear to want to do much about it, even to the extent we still can.
Let’s send em gift cards they can redeem anywhere.
I think we’re out of traitors to trade for...
Mullah Baraq will find room for them on our military bases.
Obama’s foreign policy is just wonderful isn’t it?
Miss us yet?
At this point, I really don’t care what happens in Iraq. We gave them their chance. They screwed up. Too bad, so sad.
Assault on Samarra (Shiite holy city) was repulsed.
April 30th 1975 - North Vietnam Takes Saigon
June 10th 2014 - Al-Qaeda Takes Mosul
I am sure the Mosul banks didn't have time to export their money and the Sunni terrorists will get that bank money, and be well funded for awhile. -Tom
In less than 5 years this incompetent teleprompter reader/fundraiser and his incompetant administration has made the world a very, very dangerous place.
As long as we have a Communist Muslim in the White House and crazy leftists in every position of power, it will be FAR better to do nothing than to send in more troops to get killed.
Let the Iranians handle it.
As for the oil, Bush handed most of that over to the French and the Chinese. Let them defend it.
“The head of the Turkish mission in Mosul and 24 consulate officials have been seized, local sources say.”
Erdogan, the Calif-in-waiting, is getting paid for arming terrorists in Syria. Those are the same terrorists, ISIS, who took his people hostage!
Assad is slaughtering al qaeda and ISIS in Syria and doesn’t mind going after them with Maliki for self-preservation of both of them.
Meanwhile, the 0h0mallah regime is...monitoring the situation closely...
The Islamic state of Iraq recently over ran Mosul, Iraqs second city, after regular army troops fled. It wasnt bad enough that they gained all the arms and weapons on the military base that we supplied to the Iraqi army. After taking the city and government offices they began to loot all of the banks netting an estimated $429 million in American dollars, leaving them richer than small nations such as the Falkland islands. If anyone thinks that this is not going to come home to roost on us, I think that they are sadly mistaken.
Whether through intention or just sheer stupidity, this administration has now made an Al Qaeda affiliated group the best funded terror organization on the planet. As extremist Muslim insurgencies burn across the middle east, Africa and Asia, ISIS now has its hands on more money than Al Qaeda itself. The War on terror is now showing itself as an abysmal failure as we prepare to abandon Afghanistan to our enemies. The entire balance of power has been shifted in the middle east after country after country has fallen to revolutions covertly supported and funded by our own government.
Every major government that kept Al-Qaeda at bay is either out, or in transition except Iran. From Libya to Syria to Afghanistan Al-Qaeda is going to have a free reign. Karzais government will not stand a chance once the Taliban coupled with Al Qaeda start flooding back into the country. As each of these countries fall, more and more money is going to be channeled into terrorist groups. With this destabilization, our own government has almost made it certain that Jihad will fall on our shores. Once they are done fighting among themselves they will be turning their eyes to us. Dont think that for one second that they have forgotten one single Sunni death caused by America.
They will now have the funding of entire countries to focus their terror on us. Here at home that will only mean more justification for DHS and NSA to restrict our rights in the name of fighting terrorists. More surveillance, more searches and more infringements. The gross irony here is that they have made and empowered these enemies for them to be in the position to attack us, and we, not them will pay the price.
That about sums it up. I wish I had something "pithy" to say, but all I can say is, this is a terrible turn of events, and potentially very dangerous. Shocking to me, but probably shouldn't be.
Not to mention the squandering of all that our soldiers worked and sacrificed for over there.
So just pinging to follow...
So, all the lives, all the wounded, all the severely injured in ways we don’t yet know and all the years have been wasted. And, we have nothing of value to show for it, not even oil.
Yeah, to be sure it's going the way they want it to.
And they just robbed a bank there for <$450M. Makes “Kelly’s Heroes” look like amateurs.