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Islamic State poised for massive victory near Baghdad

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
10/13/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Iraqi army threatens to defect as Islamic State closes in

Fighters from the Islamic State are nearing victory in Anbar province, Iraq's westernmost region, while also nearing another victory in northern Syria.

Kurdish soldiers in Iraq have so far managed to halt the advance of the Islamic State in the north, but Iraqi army forces are seeing defeat after defeat in western Iraq.

Kurdish soldiers in Iraq have so far managed to halt the advance of the Islamic State in the north, but Iraqi army forces are seeing defeat after defeat in western Iraq.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
10/13/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: International, Middle East, Iraq, Syria, U.S., Islamic State


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Iraqi army forces and Kurdish militia forces are struggling to contain the threat from the Islamic State, and even American airstrikes are not enough.

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Islamic State forces are on the verge of capturing Kobane, while Turkey still is unwilling to intervene, however, Turkey's government has decided to allow the United States to use airbases in the country for planes that conduct airstrikes against the Islamic State.

Iraqi officials in Anbar province have begun pleading for U.S. ground troops to stop the Islamic State assault.

On October 12, the U.S. military leader of the airstrike campaign against the Islamic State said that militants from the group came within 15.5 miles of Baghdad airport.

General Martin Dempsey said that the U.S. had to use attack helicopters against the Islamic State.

"The tool that was immediately available was the Apache (helicopter). The risk of operating in a hostile environment is there constantly," he said.

"You're not going to wait until they're climbing over the wall. Had (Islamic State forces) overrun the Iraqi unit, it was a straight shot to the Baghdad airport. So, we're not going to let that happen."

The Islamic State currently controls about 80% of Anbar province, and are currently besieging Haditha, the last town entirely controlled by Iraqi military forces.

If Anbar province is conquered, the Sunni extremist group would control a swath of territory from the outskirts of Baghdad to Raqq in Syria, the Islamic State's capital.

More worryingly, Iraqi army forces and Anbar tribesmen who are fighting alongside them have announced that they will abandon their weapons and flee if the U.S. does not intervene with a serious military presence, despite the fact that both Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and U.S. President Barrack Obama have been adamant that U.S. forces will not deploy back into Iraq.

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