Iraq declares state of emergency after insurgents take Mosul
Fighters believed to be from ISIL have taken over most of Iraq’s second-largest city and freed 1,400 prisoners
June 10 2014
Iraq’s prime minister has declared a state of emergency after armed fighters believed to be part of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh and freed hundreds of prisoners.
Overnight, hundreds of rebels launched an assault on the provincial capital Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, engaging in combat with troops and police, officials said on Tuesday.
“The city of Mosul is outside the control of the state and at the mercy of the militants,” an Interior Ministry official told news agency AFP, making it the second city to fall to anti-government forces this year.
By Tuesday afternoon, Iraqi state television channel Iraqiya was flashing a banner that read, “Iraqi prime minister asked the Iraqi parliament to declare a state of emergency in the country.” Iraqiya also reported that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has asked the U.N., EU and the Arab League to “support Iraq in its war on terrorism.”
In brief comments broadcast from Baghdad, 200 miles south of Mosul, Maliki called all citizens and tribes to arm themselves in order to fight ISIL across Iraq, saying, “Everyone is urged to come and stand united to face the ferocious attack by ISIL in Mosul.”
In recent days, rebels have launched major operations in Nineveh and four other provinces, killing scores of people and highlighting both their long reach and the weakness of Iraq’s security forces.
Mosul is the second city to be captured by rebels this year, after the central government lost control of Fallujah.
Before Mosul fell on Tuesday, ISIL fighters took control of the governor’s headquarters, prisons and television stations, reports said. The group freed about 1,400 people held in the city’s jails, according to The Associated Press.
A pro-ISIL Twitter feed boasted that fighters had released about 3,000 prisoners from three facilities.
Describing the assault, Ali Mahmoud, a media official for Nineveh, said rebels armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers stormed the provincial headquarters building in Mosul late on Monday night. He said the attackers were able to overpower the building guards after a short firefight.
He confirmed accounts by Mosul residents that many of the police and army forces who were stationed in the city had disappeared by Tuesday. Atheel al-Nujaifi, Nineveh’s governor, was in a nearby guesthouse but managed to escape from the area unharmed, Mahmoud said.
Turkish media reported that 28 Turkish truck drivers were taken hostage by the ISIL fighters in Mosul.
Osama al-Nujaifi, the parliament speaker and a brother of Atheel al-Nujaifi’s, said he asked the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad for help in order to stop what he described as “a foreign invasion by ISIL.”
Osama al-Nujaifi said he also requested the help of Kurdish fighters but received no response from the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, which controls them.
George Bush junior opened a “can of ants”,they replaced one evil for another worse evil.and just like fire ants they wreck havoc wherever they go