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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs