UPDATE for June 12/13 further down !
Yesterday, June 10, Islamic militants seized Iraq's second city of Mosul. Video footage from Mosul allegedly showed militants from an al-Qaeda offshoot, ISIS, driving through the streets.
Iraq's prime minister has asked parliament to declare a state of emergency after Islamist militants effectively took control of Mosul and much of its province of Nineveh. Nouri Maliki said "vital areas" of the city had been seized; some 150,000 people are believed to have fled.
Troops fled Mosul as hundreds of jihadists from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) overran it.
The US has said ISIS threatens not just Iraq, but the entire region. State department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the situation in Mosul, Iraq's second city, was "extremely serious" and that the US supported "a strong, co-ordinated response to push back against this aggression".
The same day, security sources told BBC that fierce fighting had erupted between Iraqi forces and ISIS fighters in a town called Rashad near Kirkuk, south-east of Mosul.
[Source: BBC in their evening news on June 10, 2014]
ـ"داعش" يحذر سكان الموصل من لفظ اسمه ويتوعدهم بالجلد
"Daesh" [i.e. ISIS] warns the inhabitants of Mosul to [denounce] its name and threatens to whip them.
يسود الهدوء الحذر مدينة الموصل عاصمة محافظة نينوى العراقية الأربعاء، بعد يوم من سقوطها في أيدي مقاتلي تنظيم "الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام" الذين يدعون عبر مكبرات الصوت الموظفين الحكوميين للعودة إلى دوائرهم.ـ
On Wednesday [i.e. June 11], a disturbing silence is dominating the town of Mosul, capital of Ninive province in Iraq, after the day of its fall into the murderous hands of the organization "Islamic Nation of Iraq and the Levant" [=> ISIL] and which, by means of loudspeakers, demands the return into service of government employees.
Editor's Note: ISIL is also known as ISIS = "Islamic Nation of Iraq and Syria" due to an old expression including both meanings, that of "Levant" and "Syria". "Daesh" is the abbreviation for the organization's Arabic name.
[Source: Al-Arabiya العربية on June 11, 2014]
UPDATE for June 12/13:
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is seen as the actual leader of ISIS. In 2010 he emerged as a local leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, one of the groups that later became ISIS.
伊拉克《新拉登》 Iraq's New Bin Laden
[quoted from the headline of some Chinese news source]
Baghdadi is regarded as a battlefield commander and tactician, which analysts say makes ISIS more attractive to young jihadists rather than al-Qaeda, which is led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Islamic theologian.
A British expert estimates that about 80% of Western fighters in Syria have joined the group. ISIS claims to have fighters from the UK, France, Germany and other European countries, as well as the US, the Arab world and the Caucasus.
Unlike other rebel groups in Syria, ISIS is seen to be working towards an Islamic emirate that comprises Syria and Iraq.
The group has seen considerable military success:
- In March 2013, it took over the Syrian city of Raqqa - the first provincial capital to fall under rebel control.
- In January 2014, it capitalised on growing tension between Iraq's Sunni minority and Shia-led government by taking control of the predominantly Sunni city of Fallujah, in the western province of Anbar.
- It also seized large sections of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar, and has a presence in a number of towns near the Turkish and Syrian borders.
The group has gained a reputation for brutal rule in the areas that it controls.
However, it was its conquest of Mosul in June that sent shockwaves around the world.
[Source: BBC on June 11, 2014]
An Arabic language website maintained by ISIS and where
further information should be available after registration. Links
included here have been deliberately removed for legal reasons.
Iraq's opposition army takes cities and seizes territory,
being merely 56 miles away from the capital Baghdad.
Editor's Note: The above screenshot, taken from a Chinese video footage, is showing jihadists moving towards Baghdad. 56 miles = 90 km
据外媒报道，极端伊斯兰武装组织“伊拉克和黎凡特伊斯兰国”（The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams，简称ISIS）日前攻下伊拉克城市摩苏尔时，从该成中央银行劫掠了价值4.29亿美元的金块（约合5000亿伊拉克第纳尔）。伊拉克尼尼微省长证实了这个消息。
According to foreign media reports, the armed organization of Islamic extremists named "Islamic Nation of Iraq and Levant" (abbrev. ISIS) and which recently captured the Iraqi town of Mosul should have looted from the Central Bank gold bullions worth some 429 million U.S.$ (which is 500 billion Iraqi Dinar). The governor of Iraq's Ninive province confirmed that news.
[Source: China News Network 中新网, quoted by 网易 on June 12, 2014]
... ... that's why ISIL, with one jump, became the world's richest terror force.
Iraq's prime minister [acknowledged] : The fighting power of the local army is far from being their match.
According to foreign media reports, the militants did not encounter any resistance when easily storming and capturing these cities and towns. Before Iraqi army and police arrived, they had already withdrawn. On [June] 11, in a regular televised address, Iraq's prime minister Maliki admitted: The fighting power of militants from the "Islamic Nation of Iraq and the Levant" and the local army "is not on the same level".
[Source: SouHu 搜狐 news center on June 13, 2014]