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June 11, 2014

Now Iraqi Insurgents Capture Tikrit, Infamous as Saddam Hussein's Home Town;
Also Kidnap 80 Turkish Embassy Personnel

I don't really understand how the Shiites -- outnumbering the Sunnis, and armed with American firepower -- can just lay down like kittens, but that is what seems to be happening.

A day after taking over Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, militants gained nearly complete control of the northern city of Tikrit, witnesses in the city and police officials in neighboring Samarra told CNN.

...

According to the witnesses in Tikrit and the Samarra police officials, two police stations in Tikrit were on fire and a military base was taken over by militants, believed to be from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, an al Qaeda splinter group also known as ISIS and ISIL.

The governor of Salaheddin province, of which Tikrit is the capital, was missing, according to the Tikrit and Samarra sources.

Suspected ISIS militants raided the Turkish Consulate in Mosul on Wednesday, capturing 48 people, including diplomats. They also seized parts of Baiji, the site of Iraq's largest oil refinery, police officials in Tikrit told CNN earlier.

Turkey says it will retaliate if those hostages, I mean Prisoners of War, are harmed. Turkey's foreign minister declared:

Right now we're engaged in calm crisis management, considering our citizens' security.

This should not be misunderstood. Any harm to our citizens and staff would be met with the harshest retaliation.

Which is no idle threat. Turkey is one of the three regional powers there (the others being Israel and Iran).

Remember, we almost provided an Air Force to these guys -- these insurgents are the same ones battling Bashar Assad in Syria (or closely linked enough to count as the same army).

And so speaking of...

0.15 The Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad has said it is prepared to come to Iraq's aid against the Sunni insurgents sweeping through the country. "The foreign-backed terrorism that our brothers in Iraq are facing is the same that is targeting Syria," the foreign ministry said.

Yes, Assad might assist our ally in Iraq.


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posted by Ace at 06:03 PM

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