Marines Arrive in Baghdad
Militants fight for new towns, claim mass executions
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2014 2:04 PM CDT
Updated Jun 15, 2014 5:00 PM CDT
Shiite tribal fighters raise their weapons and chant slogans in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, 340 miles southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, June 15, 2014.   (AP Photo/ Nabil Al-Jurani)

(Newser) – As fighting rages today across Iraq, Washington is beginning to take action. About 50 to 100 Marines and Army personnel are now at the US embassy in Baghdad, and some embassy staff have been moved to other consular offices in Iraq and Jordan, CNN reports. Meanwhile, US Navy ships including the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush have arrived in the Persian Gulf, NBC News reports. And the Wall Street Journal reports that the US is planning to begin direct talks with Iran this week about ways of curbing Sunni militants in Iraq. In other news:

  • The militants who seized much of western and northern Iraq say they've recently executed 1,700 people, the New York Times reports. No official confirmation yet, but the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria posted gruesome images of massacre sites on Twitter. Most victims are reportedly Shiite Iraqi soldiers, but Sunnis affiliated with the government were among the dead.
  • The Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani revised the call to arms he issued Friday, apparently concerned about a possible wave of Sunni/Shiite reprisal killings. He urged Iraqis "to exert the highest level of self-restraint during this tumultuous period."
  • Militants clashed with security forces near al-Khalis, northeast of Baghdad, and took over the town of Tal Afar, near the Syrian border. Sunni residents in Tal Afar say Shiite forces bombed their neighborhoods with mortar fire, Reuters reports.
  • Two bomb attacks today killed up to 21 people in central Baghdad, one in a market full of volunteers assembled to join the fight against militants, the New York Times reports.

See where ISIS militants came from, or how they became "insanely wealthy."

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Showing 3 of 359 comments
slammer
Jun 17, 2014 1:26 PM CDT
SEND THE MUSLIMS BODYBAGS NOT MARINES!! ALL AMERICANS OUT ASAP!
$6016145
Jun 16, 2014 2:19 PM CDT
OOPS, another LIE FROM THE LIAR IN CHIEF!
Observer
Jun 16, 2014 1:29 PM CDT
Funny how the world works. Now we will be fighting alongside our mortal enemy Iran. As brothers in arms. Thank the Pentagon for creating the world's most fukked up region. Notice how Israel just sits and watches while America and the Euro team roll in to take the punches. If the Isis boys are massed, we should just drop a few fuel-air bombs in their vicinity. They won't be a threat tomorrow.