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ISIL seizes control of Mosul in Northern Iraq
June 10, 2014, 12:52 pm

As ISIL fighters reinforce their hold on key territories, Sunni tribes are divided between supporting the Iraqi army and the Islamist militants [AP]

As ISIL fighters reinforce their hold on key territories, Sunni tribes are divided between supporting the Iraqi army and the Islamist militants [AP]


Fighters belonging to a coalition of Islamist militant groups operating under the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have seized the ethnically mixed city of Mosul in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province.

Army troops and security forces abandoned their posts at government installations and tore off their uniforms, witnesses said, as they fled Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

In response, the embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who won a majority of votes in April’s general elections, has asked for parliament to convene in an emergency session.

In a televised address he acknowledged that “vital areas” of Mosul had fallen to ISIL forces.

With their fighters entrenched in Mosul and most of Nineveh, the former Al-Qaeda affiliates – who have maintained a brutal campaign against the forces of President Bashar Al-Assad in neighbouring Syria – now effectively control a third of Iraq.

In January, political squabbles in the western city of Falluja in Anbar Province created a vacuum which was quickly usurped by ISIL who drove government-allied forces from the region.

The Iraqi Army has tried in vain to regain control of Falluja; ISIL forces have actually expanded their control of the area to include the Abu Ghraib district in Anbar, very near the capital Baghdad.

Last week, the UN Assistance Mission said that at least 799 people were killed and 1,400 in violence in Iraq in May, making it the deadliest month this year.

More than 80 per cent of those killed were civilians.

Source: Agencies

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