Breaking News

Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, August 17, 2018

Headline

Baghdad turning into a city under siege

ISIS militants moved four towns closer to the Iraqi capital Baghdad

Share on Facebook June 22, 2014, Reporter : BigNewsNet, Reader : 621

news

BAGHDAD, Iraq - ISIS militants moved four towns closer to the Iraqi capital Baghdad Sunday, heightening fear and tension in the city of 7-million, with Associated Press reports describing an atmosphere in which residents are 'waiting for disaster to happen'.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government's loss of four towns in Iraq's western Anbar province, including an air base, has further undermined confidence in his ability to counter the insurgency, with the news coming out just hours after Iran's religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned any western involvement in Iraq, insisting that the national government can handle its own internal affairs.

"The United States is trying to portray this as a sectarian war. But what is happening in Iraq is not a war between Shiite and Sunnis," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement carried by the state-run IRNA news agency. The Ayatollah instead said that the insurgency is being led by remnants of Saddam Hussein's army, a claim the United States has dismissed out-of-hand.

"This is about (ISIS) designs on the state of Iraq," US Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday. "The United States is prepared to help Iraq stand up against that." As part of that effort, Kerry called on Prime Minister al-Maliki's Shiite-dominated government to rise above "sectarian motivations" and become more inclusive and representative of its population.

The Iraqi capital itself, although not in any immediate danger of falling to ISIS militants, has taken on the feel of a city under siege, according to reports, with congestion on the streets nowhere near the same levels just a few days ago, and flights into the city arriving half full, and leaving fully booked. According to the Associated Press, outgoing flights to the relatively safe Kurdish cities of Irbil and Suleimaniya are booked solid through late July.

A climate of Saddam Hussein-era war predominates, with footage showing young volunteers at signup centres or in trucks being ferried to army camps dominating local television, along with reruns of speeches by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki trying to reassure a restless populace.

Shiites, which make up the majority of the Baghdad population, fear they will be massacred if the Sunni militants take the city or parts of it, while Baghdad's minority Sunni residents worry the pro-government Shiite militiamen stepping up patrols in the city will target them in reprisal attacks if ISIS continues its successful march on the capital.

"Weapons are everywhere in the city. That tells me that instability is here and disaster is on the way," says one resident, Yasser Farouq, a 45-year-old retail businessman from Baghdad's Sunni district of Azamiyah.>BNN

More Euro Asia news of the month

Photos Iraq suffers deadliest suicide attack since defeating ISIS

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Since declaring victory over what once was the most dangerous terrorist organization in the region, the Islamic State...

Photos Game over for ISIS? Iraqi forces declare success in Mosul

TEHRAN, Iraq - Declaring the downfall of ISIS, Iraqi special forces said on Sunday that their mission in Mosul was now complete after...

Photos A sinister alliance to terrorise the world is being forged

23 April BAGHDAD, Iraq - While the world’s attention is focussed on the terrorising acts of the Islamic State Militant Group or...

Photos Mosul offensive against world’s most dreaded terror group ISIS

MOSUL, Iraq - Close to a week after launching what would become the biggest battle fought in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 -...

Photos Iraqi Mosul to face humanitarian catastrophe - Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that nobody had calculated the risks of the operation to liberate northern...

Photos War looms in Mosul, tens of thousands of leaflets dropped to warn residents

BAGHDAD - Iraqi aircraft dropped "tens of thousands" of leaflets, some bearing safety instructions for Mosul residents, ahead...

Photos 120 killed, 200 wounded in IS claimed bombings in Baghdad

PanARMENIAN.Net - Nearly 120 people were killed and 200 wounded in two bombings overnight in Baghdad, most of them in a busy shopping...

Photos ISIS suicide bombers infiltrate Iraqi gas plant

BAGHDAD, Iraq – A state-run gas plant was reportedly broken into by suicide attackers resulting in deaths and injuries, in an...

Photos ISIS-claimed car bombing kills scores in Baghdad’s predominant Shiite area

BAGHDAD, Iraq – A car bombing claimed by the ISIS in Baghdad has reportedly killed over 50 people and injured nearly 60 on May 11....

Flying Reimagined

Stock Index

Friday, August 17, 2018

Life Style

Photo Gallery

FEUILLETON