Iraq Loses Control of 2nd City
State Dept. calls ISIS 'threat to entire region'
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 11, 2014 6:59 AM CDT
Updated Jun 11, 2014 10:23 AM CDT
Kurdish security forces stand guard while refugees from Mosul head to the self-ruled northern Kurdish region in Irbil, Iraq, 350 kilometers (217 miles) north of Baghdad, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Islamic...   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Stability is deteriorating quickly in Iraq, where officials are confirming that Islamist militants have seized control of a second city, Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit. Officials tell the AP that the provincial governor based in Tikrit is missing, while the New York Times notes that militants encountered precious little resistance and appear to be on their way to Baghdad. They've taken over the town of Baiji, an oil-refining center with 200,000 residents, and they've done so "without firing a shot," the Times notes. The militants hold a power station that supplies Baghdad and beyond, and residents in the capital fear the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could come their way next.

And with Iraq having lost control of its second-largest city to the Islamist militants, some 500,000 Mosul residents have fled, a watchdog says. "The situation is chaotic inside the city, and there is nobody to help us," a government worker tells the BBC. An Iraqi provincial official has indicated that leaders are strategizing to retake Mosul, but troops are showing fatigue. "The state is weak," a deserting soldier tells the Times. "This will be an endless battle." The US says it will continue to provide "some security assistance" to Iraq, but the government must "step up to the plate" in a push against ISIS, the Guardian reports. The group, the State Department says, is "not only a threat to the stability of Iraq, but a threat to the entire region."

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Showing 3 of 159 comments
Jun 12, 2014 8:24 AM CDT
But, but, but how can this be happening? We brought democracy and stability to Iraq! They said so on television! Wow. So all those billions upon billions spent and American and Iraqi lives lost was for nothing.
Jun 11, 2014 9:39 PM CDT
If you hear western media whine and complain that means it's good for the actual free world.
Jun 11, 2014 6:52 PM CDT
I think that GOP figured out by now with Pat Robertson, that they shouldn't hang Hussein as it would be a good time to bring him back like right now and right away. Only idiot can think that it can bring democracy to savages.