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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Iraq Splinters

Thursday updates:   Wash Post:  Insurgents stopped at Mosul bank--and withdrew $435 million!  And more at other banks.  Making them the world's best-funded terrorist operation, the Post declares.

And now: The Kurds.  They take Kirkuk as Iraqi soldiers abandon it. 

Update #3  NYT counters WSJ with story that claims Iraq asked fo U.S. bombing last month and Obama refused--and still declining.  But story is co-authored by Michael "Always Wrong" Gordon so who knows. 

Update #2   WSJ reports that Iraq is asking U.S. if we might bomb al-Qaeda positions there and that the U.S. is actively considering it.  Oh, boy, here we go.  Shock and Aw' Shit.  "The Obama administration is considering a number of options, including the possibility of providing 'kinetic support' for the Iraqi military fighting al Qaeda rebels who seized two major cities north of Baghdad this week, according to a senior U.S. official who added that no decisions have been made. Officials declined to say whether the U.S. would consider conducting airstrikes with drones or manned aircraft."

Update:  Juan Cole puts the fall of Mosul into perspective--and Bush bringing al-Qaeda to Iraq.

Earlier: Five American special ops and an Afghan killed in accidental air strike in Afghanistan overnight.  And, eleven years on:  Insurgents take control of key parts of Mosul as deaths escalate again Iraq.  Well, as Bush and gang say:  history will judge.   Or as Neil Young sang, "History was a cruel judge/ of overconfidence."
Iraqi police and army forces abandoned their posts in the northern city of Mosul after militants overran the provincial government headquarters and other key buildings, dealing a serious blow to Baghdad’s efforts to control a widening insurgency in the country, a provincial official and residents said Tuesday.

The insurgents seized the government complex — a key symbol of state authority — late on Monday, following days of fighting in the country’s second-largest city, a former al-Qaida stronghold situated in what has long been one of the more restive parts of Iraq. The gunmen also torched several of the city’s police stations, freeing detainees held in lockups.

The fighters are believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaida splinter group that is behind the bulk of the bloody attacks in Iraq and is among the most ruthless rebel forces fighting to topple President Bashar Assad in neighboring Syria. The group has also tried to position itself as a champion for Iraq’s large and disaffected Sunni minority.

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