Fox reports that American contractors are being evacuated from Iraq. They were in country training the Iraqi army. That army is melting down in the face of the ISIS insurgency which is swiftly taking Iraq’s major cities.
Officials say three planeloads of Americans are being evacuated from a major Iraqi air base in Sunni territory north of Baghdad to escape potential threats from a fast-moving insurgency.
A current U.S. official and a former senior Obama administration official say that means the American training mission at the air field in Balad has been grounded indefinitely.
To say the least.
American personnel remain in the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, for now. ISIS is closing in on Baghdad from the north and the west. Bombs are reportedly already going off within the capital city.
The ISIS insurgents have turned Mosul into exactly what one would expect of vicious Islamist militants, according to the Daily Mail.
The decapitated heads of policeman and soldiers are lining the streets of Iraq’s second biggest city, a displaced Iraqi woman has revealed today.
Speaking from a refugee camp to which she fled after jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (also known as ISIS) invaded the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday, the woman told of the horrific treatment meted out to those who do not bow to their rapidly expanding rule.
It would appear the occupation of Mosul was made easier by the fact a reported 30,000 soldiers fled, leaving behind tanks and firearms as just 800 fighters approached.
Less than 24 hours later the oil-rich city of Tikrit was captured by the militants, who then turned their attentions to the capital as it pushes ahead with its aim to overthrow the western-backed government as part of its goal to create an Islamic emirate spanning both sides of the Iraq-Syria border.
As jihadists now march on Baghdad after capturing swathes of northern Iraq male supporters of the government turned out in droves today to enlist and fight back.
The Obama administration is adamantly insisting that no U.S. troops will be sent in to rescue Iraq, a prospect that would be very unpopular. But it might become necessary. In the vacuum we have left behind, Iran is stepping in to shore up both the Iraqi and Syrian governments. The end game, should Iran help both defeat the insurgencies, would be to put two of the Middle East’s largest nations under Tehran’s sway. Iraq possesses 10% of the world’s oil reserves. Losing that to either insurgents or Iran will end up playing well into Russia’s hands, as it continues making aggressive moves against Ukraine.
So, what we have is a massive mess.
Had the Obama administration negotiated a Status of Forces Agreement to leave a residual U.S. force in place to quell insurgencies as they arise, the current situation would probably have been avoided.
For now, the Obama administration is expediting foreign arms sales to the Iraqi government. That’s not likely to have quite the same impact as Iran inserting its Revolutionary Guards in to fight alongside what’s left of the U.S.-trained Iraqi army.