Al Qaeda-Offshoot Continue Rapid Advances Through Iraq as Gov't Set to Arm Citizens

Al Qaeda-Offshoot Continue Rapid Advances Through Iraq as Gov't Set to Arm Citizens

After taking over Iraq’s second biggest city in Mosul, Jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS) have deployed further into several areas of Iraq.

Iraqi Colonel Ahmed Taha said the ISIS overtook the areas of Hawijah, Zab, Riyadh, and Abbasi, located west of the city of Kirkuk. ISIS also moved into Rashad and Yankaja, which are located to the south of Kirkuk.

The ISIS radicals also moved into two areas of Iraq’s Salaheddin province on Tuesday. The Al Qaeda-offshoot moved into Siniyah and Sulaiman Bek, areas located North of Baghdad.

According to senior military sources, the United States has considered sending emergency supplies to Baghdad. The arms may include Hellfire missiles, ScanEagle UAVs, and Apache attack helicopters to counter the ISIS insurgency.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki said on Tuesday that he plans on arming his citizenry to save Iraq from total collapse. The parliament has “created a special crisis cell to follow up on the process of volunteering and equipping and arming,” he said on a television broadcast.

Earlier Tuesday, Maliki called upon parliament to grant him additional powers, which would enable the Prime Minister to declare martial law.

A White House spokesman said of the ongoing conflict, “The situation is extremely serious, and U.S. officials in both Washington and Baghdad are tracking events closely in coordination with the government of Iraq.” Spokesman Josh Earnest said the ongoing strife “has led to a serious deterioration of the security situation in that city.”

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is an Al Qaeda-affiliated splinter group. The militant jihadists are also very active within the opposition in the Syrian Civil War. They also have a documented presence in both Lebanon and Turkey.

Following the US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, current ISIS Emir (leader) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi eulogized his idol and threatened to retaliate for his death. The US State Department has offered a $10 million dollar reward for information leading to his capture or death.