Meanwhile in Mosul, one of Iraq’s most important cities, ISIS set about asserting its control, issuing an 11-point charter spelling out the creation of an Islamic state along with new laws, punishments and incentives. Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs are outlawed, citizens will henceforth be required to pray five times a day, thieves will have their hands amputated and women must stay indoors except in cases of emergency, the charter said.
“To those of you who ask, who are you? The answer: We are the soldiers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria . . . who took it upon ourselves to bring back the glory of the Islamic Caliphate and turn back injustice and indignity,” the charter announced.
If jihadists control Iraq, blame Nouri al-Maliki, not the United States.
But this could be yet another sign of a breakdown in the entire Middle East. The war in Syria, which can be seen as a proxy war between the region’s Sunnis and Shiites, is now expanding into Iraq.
Islamic Jihadis Take Over Second-Biggest City In Iraq...But Al Qaeda Wasn’t Even IN Iraq Until the U.S. Invaded
Al Qaeda wasn’t even in Iraq until the U.S. invaded that country. And U.S. policy in Libya is partly responsible for sending an influx of Al Qaeda terrorists – and heavy weapons – into Iraq.
And now things are getting a whole lot worse...
You may not have heard, but Al Qaeda allies took over the Iraqi city of Fallujah 6 months ago.
And today, Al Qaeda-linked extremists in Iraq captured Iraq’s second-biggest city, the major oil center of Mosul.
(The jihadis call themselves “The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”. The fact that the U.S. is backing Al Qaeda in Syria is probably a continuing factor).
To make matters worse, the army fled, so the militants seized huge caches of U.S. supplied weapons, including humvees...
'The White House and senior Congressional members,' the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, 'deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.'
'Some look at it as treasonous moves,' said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission's research. 'And our men and women had to follow what many purport as, qualify as treasonous moves.'
Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic, one of the commission's sources, told reporters Tuesday that those weapons are now 'all in Syria.'
As I detailed in a recent piece for the magazine, Iraq’s collapse has been driven by three things. The first is the war in Syria, which has become, in its fourth bloody year, almost entirely sectarian, with the country’s majority-Sunni opposition hijacked by extremists from groups like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, and by the more than seven thousand foreigners, many of them from the West, who have joined their ranks. The border between the two countries—three hundred miles long, most of it an empty stretch of desert—has been effectively erased, with ISIS and Nusra working both sides. As the moderates in Syria have been pushed aside, so too have their comrades in Iraq.
In the two and a half years since the Americans’ departure, Maliki has centralized power within his own circle, cut the Sunnis out of political power, and unleashed a wave of arrests and repression. Maliki’s march to authoritarian rule has fueled the reëmergence of the Sunni insurgency directly. With nowhere else to go, Iraq’s Sunnis are turning, once again, to the extremists to protect them.
Which brings us to the third reason. When the Americans invaded, in March, 2003, they destroyed the Iraqi state—its military, its bureaucracy, its police force, and most everything else that might hold a country together.
The trouble is, as the events of this week show, what the Americans left behind was an Iraqi state that was not able to stand on its own. What we built is now coming apart. This is the real legacy of America’s war in Iraq.
But then Syria happened. The civil war there, which left a vacuum of authority in large tracts of the country, fueled a resurgence of the group. The upheaval gave rise to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Over the following years, as many as 12,000 militant Islamists — 3,000 of whom were from Western countries — flocked to the region to fight, according to the Soufan Group, an intelligence consultancy...
"It's not known whether Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the man who is said to have taken over the al-Qaeda organisation here is actually Iraqi, or, in fact, even exists or is a composite of several people," said Arraf.
Saudi Arabia is reportedly training foreign-backed militants in Syria as part of a new push to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The kingdom has teamed up with Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and France in adopting the new policy to bolster the militants in Syria, the Foreign Policy magazine reported.
Other reports also said that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as well as Saudi Arabia and Jordan have supplied about 600 tons of weapons in 2013 alone to the militants in Syria.