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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

June 10, 2014 - 6:53 am

Iraq’s second-largest city fell to jihadists, a danger that had been building up but appeared to be low on Washington’s priority list.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, “infiltrated the old-city quarter of Meidan and have established a bridgehead close to the Old Bridge over the Tigris River that bisects the city into two halves,” according to the newspaper Azzaman.

“Government troops lack the necessary air support to take out the militants. Their assaults have failed so far to halt the push by ISIS… The districts and towns nearby report large-scale exodus, with thousands of displaced Mosul residents arriving in Zammar and the Kurdish city of Dahouk.”

Azzaman reports that Kurdish militias — the peshmerga — are on “high alert” to take a stand against the terrorists.

On Monday, Nineveh Governor Atheel al-Nujaifi made a televised plea to Mosul’s residents, calling on them to “stand firm in their areas and to defend them against the strangers,” according to the BBC.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk is in the region to talk about an oil dispute between Baghdad and Erbil.

“He arrived in Iraq on Saturday for a series of meetings with Iraqi leaders over the coming days. Over the weekend and into today he held meetings with senior leaders in the Iraqi Kurdistan region to discuss the political and security situation and on the energy front stressed the importance of Erbil and Baghdad returning to discussions to finalize an accord on energy exports and revenue sharing. He will remain in the Iraqi Kurdistan region for additional meetings before heading to Baghdad tomorrow on Tuesday,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters yesterday.

“In Baghdad he will meet with a variety of Iraqi leaders from across the political spectrum to discuss the evolving threat of ISIL, including the situation in Anbar province and the recent attacks in Mosul. He will also stress with leaders in Baghdad the importance of renewing discussions on an energy accord. And I’m sure we’ll have more to say about his meetings after they happen.”

Fallujah fell to al-Qaeda forces in January, sparking swift criticism on the Hill of the administration’s strategy in Iraq and subsequent pullout map in Afghanistan.

“Look, we’re following very closely reports of significant ISIL attacks, particularly in the city of Mosul. The security situation is, quite frankly, there still in flux. And the Iraqi security forces have undertaken operations to fight back against this; they remain ongoing. Obviously, I can’t go into all of the on-the-ground specifics,” Harf said Monday.

“We have worked with the Iraqis quite a bit to build their capacity and their capability to fight this threat,” she added. “ISIL has recently launched attacks on Anbar University in Ramadi, on the PUK in other places. So ISIL is a very serious threat, and we are talking to the Iraqis. That’s why Brett McGurk is there right now, in part. What more can we do, what else can we do, how can we help you better fight this threat? You know we have certain deliveries of things that we have either sent or have in the pipeline to go to them.”

 

 

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Iraqi Shi-ites will most likely turn to Iran for help. The Islamic civil war, between Sunni and Shi-ites, is already raging in Syria. Iraq will be next.

Time for us to get out of the way and let them fight it out. Let's hope they both lose.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (18)
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Should we file this under "Barack's Smart Diplomacy" or "Barack's Smart Power" or Barack's Smart Foreign Policy?"
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Debkafile reports there are 11,000 warriors for Muhammad in Europe and the United States.

I feel bad for the innocent women and children in harms way in Iraq, but we need to secure our southern border and roll up those who want to go Jihad inside America. We should have invaded Mexico, not Iraq and stayed 13 years in Afghanistan.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anybody surprised?
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Iraqi Shi-ites will most likely turn to Iran for help. The Islamic civil war, between Sunni and Shi-ites, is already raging in Syria. Iraq will be next.

Time for us to get out of the way and let them fight it out. Let's hope they both lose.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Iraqi soldiers, police drop weapons, flee posts ... ... Militants seized control of the airport, TV stations and the governor's offices in Iraq's second-largest city as police and soldiers ran away from their posts Tuesday"

Iraqi soldiers run away and some think our soldiers are suppose to be sent over there to fight, and die, and lose limbs, again (and then get VA-Care), in their place. This is really sick.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Government troops lack the necessary air support to take out the militants."

Outnumbering them 100 to 1 isn't enough? And with all that expensive training we gave them? And all those expensive weapons? One might get the idea that their hearts really aren't in it, rather like Bergdahl.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
70 years since a world war. Time for another one?
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another one? We're already in one.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
What we have now is small limited scale battles with our enemies. An all out slug fest like WWII is overdue. The West has allowed our enemies to arm up and position themselves in an attempt to see their global ambitions realized. We had WWII start the same way. Everyone sat on their hands and did nothing, 60,000,000 died as a result.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Breaking:

the capital of the USA falls to a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot.





19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bringing the perfection of Detroit to every nation, one nation at a time. 'Bam.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I blame a video.

And Bush.

And Republicans for the sequester.

And global warming.

And racism.


Saved the Democrats from having to raise their talking points and me from having to listen to them.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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