Another Iraqi city has fallen to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as the US prepares to evacuate its embassy in Baghdad — the world’s largest embassy.
BAGHDAD – Islamic militant insurgents captured the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar early Monday, its mayor and residents said, striking another blow to the nation’s Shiite-led government a week after it lost a vast swath of territory in the country’s north.
The town has a population of roughly 200,000 people, mostly ethnic Shiite and Sunni Turkomen, and was taken just before dawn, Mayor Abdulal Abdoul told the Associated Press.
A Tal Afar resident reached by phone confirmed the town’s fall and said militants in pickup trucks mounted with machineguns and flying black jihadi banners were roaming the streets as gunfire rang out.
The United States said Sunday it was evacuating some staff from its embassy and beefing up security as deadly explosions rocked the Iraqi capital and militants released graphic images appearing to show its fighters massacring captured Iraqi soldiers.
The U.S. State Department said in a statement that an undisclosed number of staffers will be moved to Amman, Jordan, or U.S. consulates elsewhere in Iraq not immediately threatened by the insurgent group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.
That’s sounding an awful lot like Libya in the weeks leading up to 9-11-12. Only, with a confirmed mass killing.
In Kenya, al-Shabaab Islamic terrorists have gone on a World Cup murder spree. They’re reportedly seeking Christians and shooting them.
Like the gunmen who attacked Nairobi’s Westgate Mall last year, the Mpeketoni attackers gave life-or-death religious assessment, a witness said, killing those who were not Muslim.
“They came to our house at around 8 p.m. and asked us in Swahili whether we were Muslims. My husband told them we were Christians and they shot him in the head and chest,” said Anne Gathigi.
Another resident, John Waweru, said his two brothers were killed because the attackers did not like that the brothers did not speak Somali.
“My brothers who stay next door to me were killed as I watched. I was peeping from my window and I clearly heard them speak to my brothers in Somali and it seems since my brothers did not meet their expectations, they sprayed them with bullets and moved on,” said Waweru.
NPR reports that 48 have been killed in the latest spate of violence carried out by adherents to the Religion of Peace.
The withdrawal of American forces from a war followed by epic murder campaigns feels a bit too familiar. The US withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973, agitated for for years by allegedly anti-war groups, saw the Communist regime there and the Khmer Rouge in nearby Cambodia go off on massive, largely unchallenged, campaigns of violence within a couple of years. Millions died, hundreds of thousands more became refugees.
President Obama is still determined to withdraw all American forces from Afghanistan as early as the end of this year.