A group of Sunni militants extended its reach over northern and western Iraq today, storming through the city of Tikrit, and ending the day on the outskirts of Baghdad.
Following yesterday's capture of Mosul — Iraq's second-biggest city — the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as ISIS and ISIL) has continued its surreal, savage, and swift campaign against Iraqi government forces. The hardline Islamic group, which has only grown stronger out of the insurgency is Syria, is said to be planning to take over the capital city, much to the dismay of basically everyone.
Turkey's calling for a NATO meeting on Iraq, as ISIS barrels toward Baghdad. Could NATO even do anything before the city is attacked?— Nicholas Slayton (@NSlayton) June 11, 2014
Here's a map from the New York Times of what the country looks like now:
In addition to capturing Tikrit, there are reports that as many as 80 Turkish citizens, some staff members of the consulate in Mosul and a group of men delivering fuel, have been kidnapped by ISIS and are being held hostage.
Turkey's FM Davutoglu speaking in New York:if any harm is done to any of our citizens it will not go unanswered. No one should test Turkey.— Ivan Watson (@IvanCNN) June 11, 2014
The minister then decamped from Ankara, cutting his trip short.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, leading a government whose troops essentially abandoned their posts, tried to keep his tenuous grip on power.
We are working to solve the situation. We are regrouping the armed forces that are in charge of clearing Ninevah from those terrorists."
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that President Obama is watching the threat from ISIS "very carefully."