No one interested? This looks phenomenally nasty to me and a massive cock up by US/UK which is irresolvable.
Well unless we partitioned the country and then left them to it this was inevitable. Aside from that solution is there anything that could have been done to make it possible for them to get along with each other?
I'm just catching up with this on the news. It looks very worrying, as there has been significant fighting today. If it reaches Baghdad, it will be very worrying indeed.
The US does seem to be doing military planning (air strikes?) but careful to say there are no preferred options. but can they sit on their hands for more than a few days? And what can be done if 'boots on ground' is not an acceptable optical choice?
I think it's way too simplistic to say this is a massive cock up by US/UK. There were always risks attached to intervention the same as there are risks attached to non-intervention e.g. Syria.
I am not really quite sure what is going on can someone explain??
it seems to have come out of nowhere.
Those poor people having yet more violence flung at them . I think I heard a newsreader say that the eventual outcome could be to partition Iraq off into Kurdish, Sunni and Shia areas?
Where have ISIS sprung from? Why are they killing unarmed individuals? Is this going to be like the break up of Yugoslavia?
This will be not his like ex Yugoslavia.
It will be bloodier and horrible.
And it will affect the whole of the Middle East.
Yugoslavia was contained. This has a potential to explode.
I'm scared actually.
Sometimes at home I'll nip off for a wee and I'll be gone literally two minutes, but when I get back into the living room everything will have descended into chaos in my absence. The twins will be marauding like tiny vikings, spilled Coco Pops all over the carpet, the cat's dragged a dead bird indoors and is trying to bury it under the sofa and the baby's crawling around with a nappy on her head.
The UK/US troops must be feeling a bit like that now. They must be looking at the chaos and thinking, 'Jesus, we just left, like, five minutes ago.'
With my kids, the chaos is inevitable because they're seven. And in Iraq, it's inevitable because, according to BBC footage, it's a country full of men riding around on the back of jeeps firing guns in the air.
Its scary, the speed of what has happened.
My husband is originally from Kirkuk, his entire family still remain there so we are extremely worried about them. Fortunately it appears that the ISIL don not wish to fight the Kurdish Peshmarga who are now in control of Kirkuk. I have heard reports (on the Kurdish news channels) that a province on the very outskirts of Kirkuk was taken by the ISIL but the Peshmerga engaged them in battle and pushed them back.
From my knowledge ISIL have been operating in Syria for some time. Last year in Anbar province in Iraq (area of mostly Sunni Muslims) people were protesting about the government (which is Shia Muslim dominant) as they felt Al Maliki (PM) was favouring the Shia Muslims in the country (he is Shia). This protest was broken up by the Iraqi army/police/security forces, it resulted in several deaths and members of the government from the area resigned. In the aftermath of this incident, with local tribes fighting against the security forces due to the deaths caused the ISIL took the opportunity to move into the area.
The ISIL are made up of Sunni Muslims so was relatively easy for them to take Rahmadi and Fulluajh due to its Sunni population and the tribesman joined forces with them initially to force out the Iraqi security forces. since Dec 13/Jan 14 ISIL have had control of these cities. Now the Iraqi army have reportedly had to resort to indiscriminate shelling from some distance to try and fight the ISIL there.
I was in Kirkuk in March (wanted to go before the elections on the 30 of April) I wanted to visit our family there as i just knew that there would be some sort of trouble there after the election. I in NO WAY expected this to happen. I think the inability to form a new government is a large factor in the timing of the ISILs movements Even though Malikis party won around 100 seats of 328 he is still PM, he was the only candidate the party put forward to be considered as PM, which I think speaks volumes for the kind of man he his; People in his own circles are afraid to go against him for fear of what will happen to them. I think Mousel fell so easily as it is a Sunni area, people here feel persecuted by the Maliki government. The army and security forces there don't believe in Maliki, are not willing to loose there lives on his orders so willingly put down their arms, removed their uniforms and left. 500,000 people fled across the Tigris river into Kurdistan on the ISILs invasion. Shira law has now been imposed there. The ISIL have told the people to go back to living their life how they never did before, they told people to return to jobs and normal life, they have reportedly paid wages to hospital staff, teachers who remain there who had not received pay from the government for several months, they are controlling and running the city.
They will try to push into Baghdad. Baghdad will be better defended. It has a larger amount of Shia civilian and armed forces who will put up a fight greater than other areas, Maliki will concentrate forces to defend Baghdad primarily as it is where he his. If Baghdad is defended and doesn't fall to the ISIL I am not sure the army/security forces have the will to push the ISIL out of the Sunni areas. They would not want to risk death for them, even though they are fellow Iraqis and Muslims, because they believe in a different successor to Mohammed as the leader of Islam after his death how many centuries ago the two sects would not risk their lives to defend the other.
I hope the Peshmerga remain in Kirkuk. It was abandoned by the Iraqi army who could/would not defend it. I feel the only way to save Iraq now is to either allow Kirkuk to be part of Kurdistan (again) and then divide the rest along sectarian lines. I don't think the iraqi army can rid us of the ISIL alone, for this to happen I think they need help from the rest of the world. Not if the form of more weapons, should they be given and then the people on which they have been bestowed desert these weapons will end up in the hands of the ISIL which has already happened in Mousel and Tikrit.
This is much bigger than Syria and Iraq, if not halted and soon the entire region has the potential to be affected.
meglet Here's a BBC background piece about ISIS (aka ISIL).
Long is good, thank you wanttoride.
wanttoride good post.
First heard of this was Wednesday's news at 10 - showed ISIS forces leading a bewildered looking civilian away for execution. Showed the man kneeling with a soldier talking aim behind him. Camera's obviously dimmed out then
This image is haunting me. Why are they targeting and executing civilians?
What is their end goal?
meditrina thanks. That BBC page is handy.
I saw that too hex. There's always violence in the Middle East but this seems more brutal. It's coming across as quite an organised campaign too, targetting specific towns.
The end goal (as with other organisations associated, even loosely, with Al Qaeda) is the establishment of a (Sunni) Islamic Caliphate. That might mean all sorts of things in practice, which makes it a very successful rallying cry.
It seems to be widely expected that they will make an attempt on Baghdad. Commentators I heard yesterday seemed to think they would no be able to take the capital, but that fighting there would be bloody, and the mere fact of reaching he city would be a powerfu boost to their aims (good for recruitment across both Iraq and Syria?)
Yes the end goal is to create an Islamic Caliphate which straddles Syria and Iraq.
I have seen images and video from the areas taken by ISIL (on kurd/arabic news) which will stay with me forever- they don't really employ the same censoring of what is show on TV there, you see everything. The civilians executed/killed will be said to be /security/army who fought against them.
They want (NEED) the people remaining in the areas they hold to NOT fight them so they can remain operating there. They will tell people that the people killed were fighting against them, inhibiting the ISIL liberating the area from underneath the rule of the Shia. It will be done in a way which will both make the people of the are think they are there for the good of them but at the same time let the people know that if they stand out of line then they will go the same way. Allowing the ISIL control by fear.
Al Maliki has been speaking on the Iraqi news just now (probably still going now) the gist of what he said was "They (ISIL) need not to understand that we are weak. We are not sectarian. We will fight as a nation. We will never be sectarians like they want us to be. We will talk the language of justice, we will talk the language of freedom, we will talk the language of all Iraqis regardless of their sect.". he then started again saying the same thing really but using different words so it appears he is saying something else.
It did make me chuckle as he now claims Iraq should unite regardless of sect however numbers of Sunnis in Mousel were not paid wages by the government for several months, Their Shia counter parts in Baghdad/Basra did not receive the same treatment However NOW Iraq is united.
According to Iraqi news their airforce is now involved in halting/forcing back ISIL, more than 1000 civilian volunteers in Baghdad have joined forces with the army after a call of a Shia cleric to fight the ISIL- It will be bloody, they are not trained for combat.
off to see if Maliki is still saying the same thing dressed up as something new.
Maliki has stopped now he went on to say the following:
"If someone is talking today about an Iraq that will be defeated? No. Iraq will never be defeated. We are a brave people. The whole world is supporting the Iraqis. The whole world is listening to Iraqis. The whole world is appreciating our efforts.
They (ISIL) are a threat not only to Iraq but also to the whole region. And even to those who supported them with money and weapons."
"I cannot say it will take days, weeks or months. We need to do it the sooner the better. We need to do it within hours. Because this is our country and we cannot feel safe without beating them."
I have a cousin in Baghdad (currently still working although they have got an evacuation plan if necessary) so will be watching this thread with interest. This is so brutal and chaotic.
Here's this morning's article from the BBC website and it is centring on Iran's offer of assistance (Shia to Shia). It also points out that during ISIS offensives, the Kurds are consolidating and taking more territory.
There are a number of links from that article to other pages with background.
Bizarre that Iran & USA should end up on the same side in trying to repel ISIS.
So sad when the appetite is so huge for democracy.
How deep rooted are feeling between Sunni's and Shia's? Is this historical? What are the differences?
They make Catholics and Protestants in NI look like best friends TBH.
All about who will be the Prophet's Heir.
Muslims believe that the Quran was revealed by Allah to Mohammed. Mohammed is agreed by all Muslims to be the prophet and therefore leader of Islam during his life. Upon Mohammeds death the followers of Islam could not agree who would be his successor (NOT a prophet, but a leader of the religion.
The majority of Muslims believed that Abu Bakr- who Mohammeds closest companion should be leader. He was designated at times to lead prayer by Mohammed at times when he was unable to then he should be his successor. This majority is the Sunni sect.
A minority of Muslims including some of the prophets senior companions believed Mohammeds son-in -law and cousin Ali should be his successor. Some claim this was told to them by Mohammed while on return from Hajj.
Abu Bakr was appointed, being that the majority believed he was Mohammeds successor. Since this time in the 7TH century Islam has been divided. All Muslims believe in all the fundamental points of Islam including Mohammed being Allahs prophet it is only on Mohammeds successors (and naturally their successors) on which they disagree.
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