Iraq Update: Jihadists Seize 2 More Iraqi Towns; Close To 30 Miles Of Baghdad; Iran Rushes To Help

Tyler Durden's picture

While the US scrambles to figure out what the least painful way is to admit yet another humiliating foreign policy defeat, things in Iraq continue to deteriorate as the relentless blitzkrieg unleashed by the ISIS/ISIL Al-Qaeda spin off, which has shocked everyone by its speed and scale, takes two more towns, as it rushes for its target: Baghdad itself.

As Reuters reports, "Islamist rebel fighters captured two more Iraqi towns overnight in a relentless sweep south towards the capital Baghdad in a campaign to recreate a medieval caliphate carved out of fragmenting Iraq and Syria. Thrusting further to the southeast after their lightning seizure of the major Iraqi city of Mosul in the far north and the late dictator Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, ISIL entered two towns in Diyala province bordering Iran. Saadiyah and Jalawla had fallen to the Sunni Muslim insurgents after government troops fled their positions, along with several villages around the Himreen mountains that have long been a hideout for militants, security sources said."

As the following map shows, as of this moment the Al Qaeda extremeists are now just 30 miles away from Baghdad and closing fast, although Iraqi forces may have succeded in halting the advance for now near the town of Samarra.

What the map above also shows is the extensive US presence in the region, one which however as Obama stated yesterday, he is so far unwilling to unleash on the ISIS army.

Obama said military action alone was no panacea against ISIL. He alluded to long-standing Western complaints that Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has done little to heal sectarian rifts that have left many of Iraq's minority Sunnis, cut out of power since Saddam's demise, aggrieved and keen for revenge.


"This should be also a wake-up call for the Iraqi government. There has to be a political component to this," Obama said.


U.S. Vice President Joe Biden assured Maliki by telephone that Washington was prepared to intensify and accelerate its security support. The White House had signaled on Wednesday it was looking to strengthen Iraqi forces rather than meet what one U.S. official said were past Iraqi requests for air strikes.


But fears of jihadist violence spreading may increase pressure for robust international action. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said international powers "must deal with the situation".


In Mosul, ISIL staged a parade of American Humvee patrol vehicles seized from a collapsing Iraqi army in the two days since its fighters drove out of the desert and overran the city.

The parade can be seen in the clip below:

So will Baghdad fall as rapidly as all other cities in the north? For now that appears unlikely:

ISIL and its allies took control of Falluja at the start of the year. It lies just 50 km (30 miles) west of Maliki's office. ISIL has set up military councils to run the towns they captured, residents said. “'Our final destination will be Baghdad, the decisive battle will be there' - that’s what their leader kept repeating," said a regional tribal figure.


The senior U.N. official in Iraq assured the Security Council that Baghdad was in "no immediate danger". The council offered unanimous support to the government and condemned "terrorism".


As with the concurrent war in Syria, the conflict cuts across global alliances. The United States and Western and Gulf Arab allies back the mainly Sunni revolt against the Iranian-backed Syrian President Assad, but have had to watch as ISIL and other Islamists have come to dominate large parts of Syria.


Now the Shi'ite Islamic Republic of Iran, which in the 1980s fought Saddam for eight years at a time when the Sunni Iraqi leader enjoyed quiet U.S. support, may share an interest with the "Great Satan" Washington in bolstering mutual ally Maliki.


The global oil benchmark prices have jumped, as concerns mounted that the violence could disrupt supplies from a major OPEC exporter. Iraq's main oil export facilities are in the largely Shi'ite areas in the south and were "very, very safe", Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said.

Until they aren't. As a reminder, ISIS's immediate ambition is to create an independent religious state-entity/caliphate that looks like this:

Which probably is why none other than the country's most senior Shiite cleric urged broad mobilization, telling people across the land to take arms:

A representative of Iraq's most influential Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, urged people in a sermon at Friday prayers to take up arms and defend their country from mostly Sunni insurgents.


Sheikh Abdulmehdi al-Karbalai, who was delivering the sermon at prayers in the city of Kerbala, holy to Iraq's majority Shi'ites, said those killed fighting the militants would be martyrs.


"People who are capable of carrying arms and fighting the terrorists in defence of their country... should volunteer to join the security forces to achieve this sacred goal," Karbalai said.


In response, worshippers chanted "Labbeik Ya Hussein", meaning they would act at the behest of Imam Hussein, who is buried in a shrine in Kerbala.

But what virtually assures that it is only a moment of time before the situation spirals out of control is the arrival of Iran troops who are now being sent to guard Baghdad, and fight Al Qaeda:

Reports coming out of security sources in Iran say that two battalions of Quds Force troops from the nation’s Revolutionary Guard have deployed into neighboring Iraq to guard Shi’ite holy sites as well as the capital city of Baghdad. Some have also reportedly taken part in fighting in Tikrit.


The move comes in response to al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) taking most of the country’s Sunni west, and moving dangerously close to Baghdad on multiple fronts. Iraq’s Shi’ite government is on good terms with Iran.


Earlier today, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country can’t tolerate the growth of a terrorist group so close to their borders, and promised unspecified aid to the Maliki government.


Iran has already been aiding the Assad government in Syria against AQI’s advances there, albeit without much success. As the problem of this new AQI-run state grows, Iran is likely to try to increase support for its struggling allies, out of whose territory the state is being carved.

More from Reuters, which reports that Iran, a Shiite republic, is so alarmed by Sunni insurgent gains in Iraq that it may be willing to cooperate with Washington in helping Baghdad fight back, a senior Iranian official told Reuters. The idea is being discussed internally among the Islamic Republic's leadership, the senior Iranian official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official had no word on whether the idea had been raised with any other party.

Officials say Iran will send its neighbor advisers and weaponry, although probably not troops, to help its ally Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki check what Tehran sees as a profound threat to regional stability, officials and analysts say.

Islamist militants have captured swathes of territory including the country's second biggest city Mosul.


Tehran is open to the possibility of working with the United States to support Baghdad, the senior official said.


"We can work with Americans to end the insurgency in the Middle East," the official said, referring to events in Iraq. "We are very influential in Iraq, Syria and many other countries."


For many years, Iran has been aggrieved by what it sees as U.S. efforts to marginalize it. Tehran wants to be recognized as a significant player in regional security.




Rouhani on Thursday strongly condemned what he called violent acts by insurgent groups in the Middle East.


“Today, in our region, unfortunately, we are witnessing violence, killing, terror and displacement," Rouhani said.


"Iran will not tolerate the terror and violence ... we will fight against terrorism, factionalism and violence.”

That's right: as a result of the epic US leftover mess in Iraq, it is now up to its arch nemesis Iran to get in and protect the country from none other than Al-Qaeda. And not only that, but Iran is prepared to work with the "great Statan", America, to defend the middle east from Al-Qaeda!

And to think: this is only the beginning.

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IridiumRebel's picture

Get the "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner ready for Fuckbama. I truly believe that he is not only incompetent, but harbors a shear will to destroy the country. He needs to be impeached. 

PartysOver's picture

Never happen.  It would be racist.

I wonder what shape this country will be in when he leaves office.  If he leaves office.  Tyrants and dictators don't go easily.


BTW, was Obama's father Sunni or Shiite?

GetZeeGold's picture



Rambo XVI.......the good guys finally win.

smlbizman's picture

imho, i think this is probably just what tptb cocksuckers  were hoping for....

General Decline's picture

If Iran attacked Turkey from the rear, would Greece help?

old naughty's picture

"i think this is probably just what tptb cocksuckers were hoping for..."

They don't know how to hope. They plan and execute.

We hope them not!

Stackers's picture

Cue footage of helicopters evacuating US embassy from roof ....

Tabarnaque's picture
So ISIS is backed by the Saudis. ISIS is quickly gaining ground in Iraq against the puppet government installed by wdc. So are the Saudis at war against US assets in Iraq? It doesn't make sense. At least not now.   Is the Iraqi puppet not docile enough for Washington and needs to be recorded that he is there for a purpose?  Maliki is Shiite and has developed closed ties with Iran, probably to the distaste of wdc. So the Saudis financed ISIS is used to slap him in the face. That could make sense.   Can the USSA bomb the Saudis backed ISIS? I can't see that happen. After all the problems they've had in Egypt and Syria I can't see the USSA go to war against the Saudis in Iraq. But the Saudis are at war against Washington's puppet in Iraq (at least that's what we are told...!).   Can Washington let the Saudis install an ISIS/Al-Qaeda regime in Bagdad? Damn, I can't see how they'll sell that to the American public. How would Israel like that?   If Iran comes and save Maliki's day then it will only get these 2 even closer together. However, sectarian violence between the Sunni and Shiite will explode across the country. And how could WDC tell its population that Iran is now pulling the strings in Iraq?!! What a terrible defeat this would be for the neo-cons.   The more I spin the whole situation around and the uglier and stinker it gets. 
supersajin's picture

Iran & Russia will come out ahead here.  Oil will spike, Russia will provide Iran with updated military equipment.

Omen IV's picture

Saudi Arabia & Qatar -- are the major winners!

i believe this is response to Assad being able to hold on and they dont believe he can be beat - so ISIS takes permanently  the east side of Syria and west side of Iraq and then run the pipline for the gas from SA & Q to Europe

done !

long term i think Israel is the loser once these guys have no  SA sponsor and their own oil revenue  and  million fighters then the end game to drive out the Infidels from Jerusalem


Manthong's picture

Mark Levin reported yesterday that the guy who is spearheading the insurgency   is someone we let out of Gitmo in 2009. Now he apparently has a $10 million bounty on his head.

At least we know he found something to keep himself occupied with after we freed him.

I can hardly wait to see what the 5 key Taliban leaders we swapped for the wandering private, er, sergeant now (promoted on release) will do to exact their revenge.

Wandering Private.. could be a musical career opportunity.. atop a minaret.

gh0atrider's picture

gh0atrider remembers back in 2002, 2003 all of the commentary on how America (a country not three centuries old) needed to go and civilize all the "rag heads" in the birthplace of civilization.

Paybacks a bitch motherfuckers!

economics9698's picture

We have a cocksucker in the white house who is a Muslim, wtf do you expect?

gh0atrider's picture

You know... gh0atrider can feel sorry and forgive people who signed up to fight back in 1914.  Maybe they were born on a farm and their home had a single bible and their town had a single telegraph line coming into it.  What are people's excuse nowdays?  If you put on a uniform you know who you serve and you are just a clown who wants to go and kill people who did nothing to you.

economics9698's picture

Does fucking goats, getting married to 8 year olds, and stabbing each other in the ass make you think you have a clue?  Fuck off asshole.  

gh0atrider's picture

Ah yes, the "we did it for their own good" cop-out.  I've met American sailors and I have worked with Iranian engineers.  Want to know which were more intelligent?  Keep using the cartel's paper money and wearing their uniforms you simple fuck.

NotAMathWhiz's picture

The enemy of my enemy is ....  No, wait, the enemy of my friend is my ...  No, wait, this can't be right ...

gh0atrider's picture

When you've got part-time friends and full-time enemies all around the globe things get confusing.

aardvarkk's picture

It's more pedestrian than that in my experience.  There are a lot--a LOT--of people who join the military simply to get one or more of the following: 1) the education dollars or OTJ training/experience 2) the retirement plan/benefits or 3) something fun/challenging to do.  When the US isn't in an arguably existential crisis (the last one of those ended arguably in about 1945), the average GI doesn't do it to make some political statement or fight for a cause.  He/she does it for money, experience and fun.  It never enters most of their pretty heads that they might actually, really have to stand there and shoot someone on the face, or pull a trigger that will cause an explosion that will tear 20 people apart who are not enemy soldiers.

Save your ire for the politicians.  Or maybe the bankers.  Those are the ones making it all happen, not a bunch of 19-year-old kids with no money and too many hormones.

gh0atrider's picture

Sorry, gh0atrider doesn't buy into that cop-out defense, "they told me to do it" or "I did it for the experience".  See Nuremberg.  Maybe 19 year old "kids" with too many hormones should try read a book, study history, visit a library, talk to veterans, become investigators and ask all the right questions?

lincolnsteffens's picture

Sorry to disagree with you but just because you are well informed don't assume most of the rest of the population in the USA is. Between government schools, gov. ministry of information, complicit corporate news, advertising and political left/right shouting matches,  it is the minority that has any understanding of what the fuck has been going on behind the curtain.

pods's picture

So Iran is now going to save our bacon in Iraq?

That is double chocolate cheesecake rich.


Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Bacon in Iraq?!? Oh, stop it, pods, you're killing me! :)

Truth be told, we never had 'bacon in Iraq'. Whacking Saddam was about Bush 43 taking out Hussein for taking a whack at Bush 41. Oh, and improving shareholder value at Halliburton.

Freddie's picture

Mark Levin?  Well he backed Brat but he is NWO and you know who he supports.  As far as ISIS - this is McCain, Lindsey Graham, Rubio, Corker, Cantor and the other pro-amnesty AIPAC RINOs liver eaters.  They are McCain's boys.

Levin will go on and on about evil Iran. The same Iran who helped Assad and Syria against the liver eaters.  Assad and the Syrian Army along with Putin also protected Syrian Christians.

Dr. Jim Willie said the USA would dump the scum House of Saud under the bus because their oil fields are shagged out.   Saudis are in tight with China now.   Willie ssaid the USA would pivot to Iran.  Willie also said the USA and UK were stealing all of the Saudis gold in London. 

The Pentagon should seize these criminals and put them all on trial but they are cowards.  Bankster wars where people's kids and innocents die for cash.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Mark Levin? Is that the same idiot who thinks a constitutional convention is a good idea at this juncture? Yeah... over half the population doesn't understand the principles the country was founded on (hell a third of them don't even understand the language) so they should be given the power to sweep it all away at a new constitutional convention... Brilliant!

Manthong's picture

Yes, Levin misses it on a few issues,

He still has a bunch of statist bones left in his body but he is no idiot.

He is right at least as much as he is wrong and it is better to have him around than not.

..and you are right, this country is not ready for a Constitutional Convention.

But with another year or so of Obama's immigration travesty, it might never be.



Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Those people on the radio have a little more freedom to express themselves, but ultimately they tow the state agenda. It is the state that bestows them a license to speak.

Manthong's picture

There may be an element of truth to that but I believe that mostly they get where they are because their basic views are in line with most of their audience and if the audience is large enough they get sponsors and generate revenue for the station. Again, the problem here is that even a conservative audience is mostly ignorant of the real causes of most of our trouble (greedy , selfish or oblivious  deep state and deep finance and a departure from the Constitution).

That goes for Beck, Limbaugh, Levin and a number of others.

I think the notable exception is Judge Andrew Napolitano, but I do not believe he does anything nowadays except the occasional book, guest appearance or commentary. I don’t think he can stand the system anymore.

And it is interesting to note that my initial comment was not a specific endorsement of Levin (although I kind of like most of his rants) but just that he happened to be the source of the info on the schmuck Obama released in 2009 and is out there leading the Iraq insurgency.

thestarl's picture

As anyone with even half a functioning brain cell knows Iraq would undoubtedly be the greatest US foreign policy disaster period.

You reap what you sow.

ChiefToledo's picture

Gitmo detainees released on purpose, for this mission. US is done with the Maliki government (shia) and will now let the Saudi/Qatari (Sunni) establish an aligned regime.

Iranians fighting to stabilize Iraq won't be in Syria. Take a look at the map in the original post. Shouldn't be real hard to figure out what's up, given the US has been ardent Sunni supporters.

CheapBastard's picture

We are going to have real read faces when they get some rope and pull down Bush & Barry's statues that stands in the City Center.

johngerard's picture

That pretty much looks like it, doesn't it? Job done. But I would anticipate this is not going to stop at just that plan, but keep going.

TerminalDebt's picture

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Why blame Obama? This is GWB's fuckup.

DYS's picture

I can't believe at this stage of the game there are still people who are buying in to the Lef/Right paradigm.



Herd Redirection Committee's picture

You got to love when the gov't is encouraging you to DIE for their regime...

But don't worry, you will be a martyr, so its all good!  Don't sit too long and think about it, just go!

johngerard's picture

Yep, it doesn't exist any more. It's a twentieth century idea that's finished.

redd_green's picture

Yeah, its pretty sad.  If no place else, especially here on ZH.     Very sad. 

Jerk_Store's picture

believe it......Americans don't want solutions (especially if they require sacrifices). Much easier to play the blame game. Then sit back and enjoy "the kardashians"

Freddie's picture

Bushes, Clintons, Obama are the same NWO people. 

stoneworker's picture

I actually asked this question yesterday. It is really hard to understand who is supporting ISIS...right now I think they are a branch of the Saudi Al Qaeda that went rogue, but you could be right it is possible that there is a serious rift between SA and the US and the Saudis decided to take matters into their own hands.

Citxmech's picture

I guarentee that there is a serious rift between SA and the US.  Probably has bunch to do with Fed policy destroying their reserve holdings and potentially better deals being offered by China and Russia.  Saudis ain't stupid - they can see the writing on the wall too.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Once people GET that Saudi Arabia (House of Saud are crypto-Jews and always have been) and Israel are secret allies, they will understand the dynamics of the Middle East much better.

falconflight's picture

Saudis crypto jews?  You must be an Arab/muslim.  Only Arabs/muttslums utter that slur.  Sick fuck you are...certifiable, just like that Culture of Death you so admire....Islam.

Freddie's picture

Dr. Jim Willie has been saying this for months.  He said that thge Saudis would be thrown under the bus.  Just now - Iran is offering to help the USA.  Jim Willie predicted this months ago.  The pivot to Iran.

stoneworker's picture

Ok so I guess the consensus is that ISIS is a purely Saudi operation? Is Qatar somehow involved as well? Is what ISIS doing really against US interests( I really don't see why the US is supports the Maliki government)? I think Iran and Russia are pretty tight they would not like ISIS walking over the Iraqi Shiite governmnet.

Kayman's picture

"So, are the Saudis at war against US assets in Iraq?" Hell, yes !

These guys all play the long game. Bombing the crap out of people, then running away is the short game. Unfortunately our current fearless leader (and Dubya) cannot grasp the concept that nobody in this dust up likes America.

This is Iran and the Saudis using Syria and Iraq as proxies with Israel stirring the pot as much as it can.

And yes, Putin must piss himself laughing at the Teleprompter in Chief- perhaps a quick phone call to the President of Canada could help tip the balance.

Loose Caboose's picture

Make that a call to the Prime Minister of Canada. We follow the British model of government.  Although I like the sound of President of Canada.