News / Middle East

    Islamic Militants Seize Mosul From Iraq Government Forces

    Burning vehicles belonging to Iraqi security forces are seen during clashes between security forces and al Qaida-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern city of Mosul, June 10, 2014.
    Burning vehicles belonging to Iraqi security forces are seen during clashes between security forces and al Qaida-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern city of Mosul, June 10, 2014.
    Edward Yeranian
    The Iraqi government is calling for parliament to declare a state of emergency, after militants from the al Qaida-affiliated "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" seized control of most of the northern city of Mosul and Nineveh Province. 

    Amateur video showed plumes of black smoke billowing into the air Tuesday over the predominantly Sunni northern Iraqi city of Mosul, after Islamic militants captured police and army positions, setting fire to vehicles.  Militants also seized the airport, government offices and banks.

    Gunbattles between the militants and the army raged for hours, before the Iraqi military finally withdrew to positions north of the city.  Video showed civilian vehicles racing to evacuate Mosul, as truckloads of militants took control of the city's main thoroughfares.

    Iraq's Ashirqiya TV reported hundreds of civilians fled Mosul to the northern Kurdish town of Erbil.  The TV added that militants from the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” broke into prisons, freeing 2,725 men, many condemned to death or serving life sentences.

    Al Arabiya TV said the Iraqi Army fled from its positions inside Mosul, while an Iraqi military spokesman called it a “tactical withdrawal.”  A Sunni political analyst told Arabiya TV that Sunnis make up only five percent of the Iraqi Army, making it difficult to control predominantly Sunni Mosul.
    • An elderly man is assisted as families fleeing the violence in Mosul wait at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Irbil, Iraq, June 10, 2014.
    • Families fleeing the violence in Mosul wait at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Irbil, Iraq, June 10, 2014.
    • Damaged vehicles belonging to Iraqi security forces are seen during clashes between Iraqi security forces and al-Qaida-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Mosul, Iraq, June 10, 2014.
    • Burning vehicles belonging to Iraqi security forces are seen during clashes between Iraqi security forces and al-Qaida-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Mosul, Iraq, June 10, 2014.
    • This image taken from video obtained from the Iraqi Military shows armored and military vehicles during clashes in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq, June 9, 2014.
    • This image taken from video obtained from the Iraqi Military shows Iraqi soldiers during clashes with militants in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq, June 9, 2014.
    • This image taken from video obtained from the Iraqi Military shows an armed Iraqi soldier leaving a military vehicle during clashes in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq, June 9, 2014.
    • This image taken from video obtained from the Iraqi Military shows Iraqi soldiers during clashes with militants in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq, June 9, 2014.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki went on state TV to call on parliament to declare a state of emergency and to urge the international community to come to help deal with the crisis.

    He said he was proclaiming a maximum alert and urges parliament to act quickly to impose a state of emergency and mobilization of all forces.   He called for the U.N., .Arab League, the European Union and other nations to help Iraq fight terrorists, whom he calls a threat to the entire world.

    Sunni Parliament Speaker Osama al Nujeifi, a political adversary of Maliki, accused the Iraqi military of abandoning Mosul, as well as their equipment, weapons and ammunition, to the Islamic militants.

    He said that the Mosul governor's office warned army leaders in recent weeks about the presence of armed militants in the region, but they took no preventive measures, so that when the battle came to the city, they laid down their weapons, and fled, leaving everything to the terrorists.

    The parliament speaker's brother is the provincial governor of Mosul and surrounding Ninevah Province.  Al Arabiya TV reported that Nujeifi met with the U.S. ambassador to discuss the military situation in Mosul.

    Analyst James Denselow of the London-based Foreign Policy Center told VOA  the sudden crisis in Mosul was the result of months of deterioration in security in Sunni regions of Iraq.

    "I think what we are witnessing here is the spillover of the Syrian conflict and the presence of emboldened and empowered radical Islamic groups operating from Anbar Province on both sides of the border with Syria, and the Iraqi elections and the continued failure of Maliki to chart an inclusive process for the Sunni community to make them feel part of the Iraqi state,” he said.

    The security crisis in Mosul follows months of conflict with Islamic militants in mostly Sunni Anbar Province.  The Iraqi Army has repeatedly attacked and shelled the towns of Ramadi and Falluja, failing for the most part to dislodge the militants.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Maliki is locked in a struggle with both Sunni and Shi'ite political opponents over formation of a new government.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: awaaz from: india
    June 10, 2014 12:35 PM
    why only Muslims dominated countries have these crises...why can't they live in peace....because they have wrong mentality since their birth.......i would appreciate if all other people unite together to get this worm out from t his world...

    by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
    June 10, 2014 11:59 AM
    It would have taken another -- another -- 200,000 American and British troops to protect Iraq and now Syria from Sunni extremists, often funded and armed by Persian Gulf oil monarchies pretending to be allied to the West.

    With USA forces already thinly stretched across the planet, Obama, instead, chose to abandon Iraq and Syria and leave it to the Sunni and Shiite, the Persians, and, indeed, even the Israelis, to sort out in what looks to become a very bloody and long-lasting sectarian war that will encompass the entire Middle East, including North Africa and Turkey.

    As Middle East oil then stops flowing, expect a global Depression unlike any ever seen before.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    June 10, 2014 11:13 AM
    REMEMBER? -- When a US President said; "The world is a safer place, now that Saddam is dead" (and another US President saying); "The world is a safer place since Qaddafi and his son's are dead" (and best of all) "The world is a safer place since Bin Laden is dead" (and the US President also saying); "Al-Qaeda is on the run, and it's leadership has been decimated" -- (IF ONLY?) -- anything they said was true?

    The whole Islamic world is erupting in chaos, violence, killings, destruction and wars, ever since the US, EU, and NATO countries started interfering in the politics of all these Islamic countries, like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Yemen -- (and now) the violence, killings, destruction and wars, have spread to all the other countries bordering them? --- (What have they done, and keep doing?).

    USING LOGIC? -- The world would be a safer place if the US, EU, and other NATO countries hadn't interfered in the politics of all these Islamic countries, wouldn't it be? -- (IF ONLY?) -- If only the leaders of the US, EU, and NATO countries had to live in the countries they interfered in? ... (they wouldn't have done it, would they have?)

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.