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BAGHDAD—Islamist insurgents seized control of Iraq's second-largest city on Tuesday in a brazen military operation that underscored the weakness of the central government across vast swaths of the country.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared a nationwide "state of maximum preparedness" after government forces fled Mosul in disarray following four days of fighting. He asked parliament to declare a state of emergency. But he didn't say whether military forces were mobilizing to retake the city, 220 miles north of the capital, Baghdad.
By nightfall, the militants were still expanding their territorial conquests. Local security forces said the fighters had taken over territory in the neighboring province of Kirkuk to the east and parts of the city of Sulayman Beg to the south.
Mosul residents said they were shocked at the ease of the takeover by hundreds of rebels.
The fighters seized control of the provincial government headquarters, important oil installations in the surrounding province and Mosul airport, the parliament speaker said.
They also took over television stations, police stations and military installations where U.S.-supplied fighter planes, helicopters and other heavy weaponry are based.
The insurgents raided at least one prison and freed all the prisoners.
Military, police, and city officials fled the city.
Witnesses said government soldiers fled on foot, leaving the streets littered with abandoned army vehicles, weapons and uniforms. The vanquished soldiers knocked on doors and begged for civilian clothes so they could escape without being identified, Said Ahmed Khaza'al, a cosmetic dealer.
originally posted by: snarky412
I mean, seriously, it's laughable
Sharia Law Nightmare - Pretty sure the Herald Sun
An armed Islamist organisation fighting on the rebel side has established sharia law in northern Syria, which has seen children whipped and adults executed in public, Amnesty International reports today. The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) controls a large part of northern Syria, including the countries biggest city, Aleppo.
ISIS is in charge of at least seven "detention centres" in the area where children as young as eight have been detained, young teens have been flogged, and adults executed after "trials" lasting just minutes. ISIS previously known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AIQ), practice several forms of torture, including electric shocks and stress positions, and regular floggings with rubber generator belts or cables, in secret prisons in al-Raqqa and Aleppo.
Several children were among detainees who received severe floggings, according to testimonies obtained by Amnesty International. On one occasion, a father had to endure screams of pain from his 13 year old son, who was being tormented by captors in a nearby room.
Two other detainees related how they witnessed a child of about 14 receive a flogging of about 100 lashes during an interrogation at Sadd al-Ba'ath, an ISIS prison in al-Raqqa governorate. Meanwhile, another child whom ISIS had accused of stealing a motorbike was flogged 30 or 40 times a day for 7 days.
Some of those held by ISIS have been suspected of theft or other crimes, while others have been accused of "crimes against Islam", which can include everything from smoking to sex outside marriage. Others were seized for challenging ISIS's rule or because they belonged to other armed groups fighting on the rebel side.
Mosul has fallen, imagine the weapons and supplies this insurgent army has now gained?
originally posted by: GArnold
I cannot believe this has not gotten more stars or flags.
Black Hawk, one of ghaneemas taken by #ISIS. #Mosul #Iraq pic.twitter.com/zLoSrbve7R
originally posted by: yuppa
a reply to: khimbar
correction. they have alot of stuff to sell to china and russia and iran. They have no use for blackhawks really.