Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Isil fighters advance to within six miles of Baghdad

Dear All,

Accounts in this evening news are claiming that the Capitol of Iraq [Baghdad] is in extreme and serious jeopardy of falling to ISIS; and possibly very soon as reports indicate that ISIS fighters are now within only 6 miles of Baghdad.

I must remind the readers that Obama was personally warned by his former Secretaries of Defense, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, among many others that should he choose to take our country down the road that he did, it would lead to catastrophic consequences for the Citizens of Iraq, the Middle East Region, and our own nation.

The president chose to ignore their advice and council.

Should Baghdad fall, I would hope that President Obama would be “told” to step aside and relieved of his command [for "Gross Incompetence"] by a bipartisan majority in the US Congress.

This has become very serious and our nations own national security is now at risk.

The United States needs a true leader at this very important time, which is unfortunately something that Obama has proven himself not to be.

Ron Kirkish

Isil fighters advance to within six miles of Baghdad

By Ruth Sherlock, and Robert Tait, in Mursitpinar, and Carol Malouf

11:21PM BST 29 Sep 2014

Islamic State group encroaches on Baghdad and close to seizing Kurdish village on Syria-Turkey border despite US-led air strikes

Iraqi Shiite militiamen fire their weapons during clashes with militants from the Isil in Jurf al-Sakhar Photo: AP

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) made fresh advances in both Syria and Iraq on Monday, in defiance of the escalating United States-led bombing campaign against the jihadist group.

For almost two months now, Tomahawk missiles and F22 Raptor jet fighters have bombarded the bases, strategic assets and front-line positions of Isil jihadists.

But the group’s encroachment on Baghdad is steadily progressing and it is close to seizing a key Kurdish village on the Syria-Turkey border.

Isil gunmen were reported to be six miles away from some points of Baghdad, and were holding their ground at a front line on the major northern highway to Fallujah in Iraq.

In Syria, its fighters were closing in on Kobane on the Turkish border.

In the past year, Isil has grown to become the world’s best equipped militia group.

Kobane came under a bombardment from the group, prompting fears from locals that the town might soon fall.

At least 15 shells struck the central, western and eastern areas of Kobane.

The assault came as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the UK-based monitoring group, reported Isil fighters advancing to within three miles of the east and south-east of the town.

Kobane is defended by a volunteer force and has been bracing itself for a takeover for more than a week.

On the Turkish side, ambulances raced to and from the border crossing at Mursitpinar, taking casualties to hospital.

The Telegraph witnessed an aid convoy approaching the border, accompanied by Turkish armoured personnel carriers.

Another missile was said to have landed in Turkish territory, close to where security forces fired tear gas at Kurdish protesters from Turkey who had been trying to cross the border to relieve their compatriots in Syria.

With Kobane’s prospects looking increasingly dire, more than 20 Turkish tanks were stationed on a nearby hill.

The attack came despite a barrage of US-led air strikes overnight on Isil positions around Kobane.

Yasin Abo Raed, a media activist for the group, Syria Live Network, said a school that was being used as a prison in Manbij to the south-east of Kobane had been destroyed, but that there were not yet reports of how many people had been killed.

An estimated 160,000 Syrian Kurds have flooded into Turkey since last weekend, amid tales of beheadings and other atrocities carried out by the jihadists as they have captured as many as 200 villages in the region.

Mohammed Bakir, 56, a farmer with two sons fighting in the Kurdish units, described how jihadists killed 29 people and took 150 prisoner when they overran his village of Buban more than a week ago.

“Some of them were children in the ninth grade at school, aged around 13 and 14,” he said.

“They also killed my friend Ahmad. I called his number and a jihadist answered. I asked, 'Where’s Ahmad?’ He said, 'If you want him come here and pick up his head.’ ”

The jihadists are also on the march in central Iraq.

Isil gunmen have sought to control the town of Amariya al-Falluja, 25 miles east of Baghdad since the weekend, although their advance had stalled by Monday afternoon after air strikes on the area.

Bombardment from the air has forced Isil to slow its attacks in some areas, and to retain a less obvious presence on the ground, but there is no indication that the group is seriously threatened.

In some areas, the air strikes have helped foment local sympathy for the jihadist group.

Sunni residents, who disagreed with the Shia-led government in Baghdad, were happy when Isil stormed their neighbourhoods, pushing back Shia militias and the Iraqi army, which many residents saw as a sectarian force.

In Syria, too, there were indications this week that the bombing campaign was helping engender support for the jihadist group.

One leader for Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria who was a sworn enemy of Isil, confirmed to The Telegraph rumours that the two groups were talking about a reconciliation, after both were targeted by air strikes.