A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

ISIS in Mosul, Threatening More of the North

The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the al-Qa‘ida affiliate operating in Iraq and Syria, has taken control of Mosul in a stunning setback to the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Though the Iraqi leader has promised to recover it "in 24 hours" and the Air Force is reportedly attacking ISIS, it is nevertheless the most significant jihadist gain in memory. ISIS also reportedly has seized parts of Kirkuk Province. They have reportedly taken control of a dam at Mosul and are threatening a power plant at Bayji near Tikrit; these could give them the ability to threaten key water and power supplies. There are unconfirmed reports that they have captured helicopters as well.

I fear stuff just got serious for Mr. Maliki, I fear, unless he can reverse this quickly. Mosul is a big deal, Iraq's second city.

This video reportedly shows the withdrawing vehicles of what it calls the "Safavid Army" (after a Persian dynasty, an epithet jihadis use for Maliki's Shi‘ite-dominated government); locals are apparently throwing stones at them:

Iraq may be in for a very rough ride.

No comments: