Iraq is in turmoil with the government unable to slow down the insurgent rampage. The Fiscal Times reports on the deteriorating situation in Iraq here.
Fighters for the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took Mosul today, giving the militant group control of Iraq’s second largest city and setting the country on a path toward chaos.
ISIS militants already control Fallujah, a city that American Marines took in 2004 in what was the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War. Now, with both Mosul and Fallujah under their control, nearly half of Iraq is in the grips of a group that is a formal affiliate of a terrorist group.
Equally troubling are the circumstances under which the city fell. Iraqi security personnel simply abandoned their posts, according to reports.
This is problematic for a host of reasons. First, it shows that the American-trained Iraqi military is not adequate. Second, Iraqi soldiers left their weapons behind – giving ISIS a huge cache of equipment.
But the most disturbing aspect of the desertion is what Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki proposed to replace the missing troops. In an address to the nation Tuesday, he called on Iraqi citizens to take up arms against ISIS in an attempt to retake the city.
“We will not allow for the remainder of the … province and the city to fall,” he said, adding that he would arm them. “This requires all efforts, both civilian and official, to confront this ferocious attack that harms all Iraqis, from a deteriorating security situation to a humanitarian crisis.”