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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs