Monday, June 23, 2014

#ISIS Jihadists Press Closer to Baghdad

At WSJ, "At Least 81 Iraqis Killed in Sunni Rebel Attack on Convoy: The Assault Took place Just 20 Miles South of Central Baghdad':
BAGHDAD—Sunni militants brought their campaign against the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki closer to Baghdad on Monday, attacking a police convoy just 20 miles from the center of the capital and triggering a shootout that left at least 81 people dead.

Rebels of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham struck the convoy in Babil province on the main highway leading south from Baghdad. In the exchange of fire that followed, at least 71 prisoners in police custody, five policemen and five insurgents were killed, security officials said.

In a gruesome sign of the Sunni-Shiite hatred now fueling the conflict, into its third week, the bodies of 15 Shiite fighters were returned to the town of Basheer, 2 miles south of Kirkuk, in northern Iraq.

The fighters, which included one woman, were defending the Shiite-dominated town from an ISIS assault when they were captured by rebels, strung up on electrical poles and lynched. Their bodies were kept hanging for days until they were taken down by Sunni tribal leaders and transported by tractor to Basheer on Monday.

The brutality of the fighting underlined the determination of Sunni insurgents to tighten their grip over areas in the north of the country where they now hold sway after driving out government forces.

Nour al-Dine Kablan, an official in Mosul, said Monday that ISIS rebels were in control of most of the military airport in nearby Tal Afar. Rebels and government forces have been fighting for control of the city of 200,000 people, located 270 miles northwest of Baghdad, near Iraq's border with Syria...
More at the link, especially an astonishing map of spectacular ISIS control across Iraq.