Recent images and reports from Iraq are extremely distressing. The massacre, violence, insurgency and radicalism are so shocking to me.
The radical Al-Qaeda faction, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), have taken over key cities in Iraq and murdered hundreds of soldiers and civilians, unleashing a wave of terror and insecurity.
The radical Islamic terrorist group swept through Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and seized it, causing many soldiers and policemen to flee.
The Islamic insurgents have also captured two major cities in northern Iraq. One, Tal Afar, which has a mixed Sunni and Shia population and lies between Mosul and the Syrian border and the other, Tikrit, home of former dictator, Saddam Hussien.
Iraqi troops, many of them armed and trained by the U.S., fled in disarray, surrendering vehicles, weapons and ammunition to the powerful extremist group, which boasts of over 5,000 fighters and also fights in Syria.
ISIS claimed on Twitter to have executed 1,700 Iraqi government
soldiers , supporting their claim with graphic photos.
The images appear to show the blood thirsty militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, loading the soldiers onto flatbed trucks before forcing them to lie face-down in a ditch with their arms tied behind their backs. The final images appear to show the lifeless bodies of the captives.
The captions of the photos say the killings were to avenge the killing of an ISIS commander, Abdul-Rahman al-Beilawy, whose death was reported by both the
government and ISIS shortly before the Al Qaeda splinter group’s lightning offensive, which has plunged Iraq into its bloodiest crisis since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s government on Sunday strengthened defence around the capital, Baghdad after threats from the group that it’ll capture the capital.
Hundreds of Shiite men paraded through the streets with arms in response to a call by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for Iraqis to defend their country. The Shiite sect has largely joined the fight against the majorly Sunni ISIS, turning this into a sectarian war.
I fear. Really, I fear. I fear for all the innocent civilians caught up in this mad kind of violence and bloodshed. Already, about half a million Iraqis are said to have fled the insecurity in Mosul. The city of Tal Afar that was also taken by ISIS had a population of 200,000. Many of which have fled the violence. Where will all these people go? They will most likely become refugees or internally displaced persons. This simply adds up to another humanitarian catastrophe in the middle east coupled with the humanitarian crises in Syria. Have we even forgotten about the thousands of Syrian Refugees in Iraq, what will happen to them? Did they flee the war raging in Syria only to be caught up again in another deadly violence?
U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay warned on Friday of “murder of all kinds” and other war crimes in Iraq, and said the number killed in recent days may run into the hundreds, while the wounded could approach 1,000.
Is the world prepared for this possible humanitarian disaster? The answer is simple, No! The world is still battling with the serious humanitarian crises in neighboring Syria and in some African countries. This unexpected event will simply cause a shock and I’m afraid of many people dying because of inability to handle the crises.
What could be done now?
The US is considering using drone strikes to target militants in Iraq. Is that the solution? It’s obviously not but it is the urgent step that can help a bit.
“They’re not the whole answer, but they may well be one of the options that are important,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry.
It is however surprising to me that after the many years of US presence in Iraq, the situation could descend to as low as militants rounding up and killing soldiers.
Another possible way is US cooperating with their ‘not-so-good-friends’, Iran which is a close ally of Iraq. Iran has volunteered to cooperate with the US to tackle the insurgency that threatens the entire stability of both Iraq and the entire middle east.