News / Middle East

ISIS Takeover in Mosul Displaces Thousands

ISIS Takeover in Mosul Displaces Thousandsi
X
June 11, 2014 10:32 PM
The extremist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) seized control of the western half of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city on June 6. Three days later, Iraqi security forces retreated, leaving the entire city in the hands of the jihadis. According to the U.N., up to half a million people have fled the city, raising concerns over a new humanitarian crisis. Sebastian Meyer reports from northern Iraq.
Sebastian Meyer
— The extremist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) seized control of the western half of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city on June 6.   Three days later,  Iraqi security forces retreated, leaving the entire city in the hands of the jihadis.  According to the U.N., up to half a million people have fled the city, raising concerns over a new humanitarian crisis.

At 8:00 in the morning the crowds have already formed.  At the Kelek checkpoint, about 50 kilometers outside of Irbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq, some families arrive before dawn.

Two days earlier the Jihadi group ISIS took over Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, sending hundreds of thousands of frightened residents fleeing for safety.

College student Abdulrahman Yaseen, fled with his family.

“I see everything is destroyed," Yaseen said. "Everything. Cars and homes and city. The whole city is destroyed.  All the city."

Further up the road outside the village of Shaquli, it’s easy to see what a destructive force the jihadis are.  Two days earlier, ISIS attacked an Iraqi Army checkpoint with car bombs so powerful the blast pushed the cars into a nearby graveyard.

Aqil, a resident of the village saw the attack.

“There was a unit of the Iraqi Army as well as the Peshmerga [Kurdish fighters].  At 8pm the car bombs came and exploded. Nine people died.”

But, for some, like Mohammed, who fled with his daughter Dima, it’s not fear of the jihadis that’s making them leave.  It’s the Iraqi Army.  They are worried that the Iraqi military will retaliate as they have in Fallujah by bombing the city with artillery and mortars.

“Two days ago the fighters came to the city, and the Iraqi army retreated without fighting," he said. "There’s no fighting now, but there was a speech from Maliki saying that he’ll come and retake the city. We fled because we’re afraid for our children and families.”

Back at the Kalek checkpoint, Kurdish security forces keep a controlling eye on those trying to come into the relative security of their autonomous region.  As most of the rest of the country slips into chaos, the possibility of the Kurds extending that control is growing.
 
Who will eventually control Mosul is still not clear, but as the lines of refugees continue to grow, one thing is for certain: a new wave of violence has returned to Iraq.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid