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ISIS establishes Taliban state in the Middle East

By Missing Peace

After the Jihadist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) captured Iraq’s second city Mosul last week, the organization announced that the capital Baghdad would be next in line.

The fall of Mosul meant that the Islamic state ISIS aspired had become a fact and that Iraq as we know it has ceased to exist.

On Sunday the Iraqi army appeared to have halted the ISIS advance to Baghdad outside the holy town of Samarra somehow. Samarra is located about 60 miles north-west of Baghdad. From here, the security forces have mounted a counter-attack, retaking some towns and villages nearby. The Iraqi forces used their airpower to attack ISIS positions.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered Saturday that Iraqi troops stand up to the militants “Samarra will be the starting point, the gathering station of our troops to cleanse every inch that was desecrated by footsteps of those traitors,” al-Maliki said in broadcast remarks.

“They (ISIS) believed that this is the beginning of the end, but we say, this is the beginning of their end, their defeat, because it sparked the passion and determination in all soldiers and officers, and in all Iraqi people,” the prime minister said.

On Sunday however CNN reported that ISIS fighters had clashed with Iraqi forces in Baquba which is only some 37 miles northeast of Baghdad.

Also Sunday, two villages in the Adhaim area, about 62 miles north of Baquba, were taken over by gunmen believed to be ISIS, officials said.

Separately, three mortar rounds landed in al-Khalis, near a recruitment center opened recently for volunteers to join the Iraqi army in their fight against ISIS. Officials could not provide more details.

Violence perpetrated by ISIS shook a small town near Mosul again Sunday, security officials in Baghdad and the town of Tal Afar told CNN. Several mortar rounds landed on a busy area in the town west of Mosul and killed at least seven and wounded 33 people, CNN reported.

This map shows the areas ISIS captured in IraqThis map shows the areas ISIS captured in Iraq

The ISIS Islamists who have captured much of northern Iraq released new pictures on Sunday appearing to show their fighters executing scores of prisoners. Earlier The Research and Analysis Centre for Terrorism released a movie about the atrocities ISIS committed in Syria and in which ISIS leaders explained what the goals of the organization are.

You can watch the TRAC film here:

Warning contains extremely graphic images

 

The images on a website linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an al-Qaeda affiliate, show young men in civilian clothes – apparently captured Iraqi soldiers – being loaded onto the backs of trucks, guarded by Islamist fighters wearing masks.

The next pictures show the men being forced to lie down in a ditch beside a field, with their hands tied behind their backs. Finally, the images show their bloodstained bodies, apparently after they were shot by their captives

ISIS executes captured Iraqi soldiersISIS executes captured Iraqi soldiers

Iran

Iranian forces are also operating in Iraq. The Guardian reported that 2000 Iranian troops were sent to Iraq in order to help tackle the ISIS insurgency. However the force level indicates that Iran is not interested at this point to intervene directly in Iraq. The Iranians themselves have emphasized their goal is protecting the Shia holy sites at Karbala and An Najaf, which lie south of Baghdad.

CBS News reported that Qassem Suleimani, the leader of the Quds Force, which is a special forces unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, is in Baghdad along with his fighters to help the Iraqi government co-ordinate its military response.

Foreign intervention ?

The US administration has announced yesterday that it had sent an aircraft carrier and guided missile destroyers to the Persian Gulf. Obama’s response to the crisis in Iraq has been criticized by many in the US and elsewhere. Senator Graham for example blasted Obama’s response to the ISIS insurgency and called the president stubborn headed who thinks he knows better than anyone else. He said Obama was delusional and detached.

Former British PM Tony Blair has urged Western governments to intervene in Iraq.

Blair was speaking on UK morning TV shows after writing a lengthy essay setting out how to respond to the Iraq crisis, including his belief that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not the cause of the country’s implosion.

He said: “It is in our interests for this jihadist extremist group to be stopped in its tracks. I understand entirely why people say ‘it is nothing to do with us and I don’t want to hear about it’.”

But he said the Jihadis “are not simply fighting Iraqis and they are also willing to fight us and they will if we don’t stop them”.

“It is vitally important that we realize what is at stake here and act. We are going to have to engage with it or the consequences will come back on us as we see in Syria today.

“The best policy for us to realize that whatever form of intervention we choose is going to be difficult but it’s better than the alternative.You do not need to engage as we did in Afghanistan or Iraq, but we do have interests in this.”

ISIS finances and weapons

ISIS has become the world’s richest terrorist organization since it invaded and captured the town of Mosul in Iraq last week. Approx. half a billion dollar was seized by ISIS when it raided local banks in Mosul.

On top of that rich Saudi citizens who are thrilled by the advance of ISIS, are transferring huge amounts of money to the Jihadist group. ISIS’ ideology is based on Salafism or Wahhabi ideology which has been nurtured by the Saudi’s since the 18th century.

Wahhabis or Salafists (the two terms are almost interchangeable) seek religious purity through iconoclasm.

ISIS has also captured huge amounts of weapons from the Iraqi army. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights ISIS is bringing heavy weapons including tanks to Syria. As a result Syria’s army has been bombarding Isis’s major bases in the country’s northeast, which borders with Iraq.

“The regime air force has been pounding ISIL’s bases, including those in the northern province of Raqa and Hasakeh in the northeast,” which borders Iraq, said the Britain-based group.