It’s been weeks since the press gave any airtime to the crisis in Iraq where death and destruction from ISIS terrorists continues reign on a daily basis.
After weeks of training, the Iraqi Air Force has reportedly joined the fight and bombed multiple positions of the Islamic militants using MiG fighter jets they bought from Russia weeks ago.
In Baghdad, the U.S. Embassy remains heavily guarded by Marines, Special Forces, and privately employed defense contractors, many working with K9 partners. The fighting, not far from the gates of the compound, has even veteran contractors fearing for their safety; some planning shortened deployments.
In the north, west of Mosul, Kurds are fighting for their very survival. After a shipment of weapons arrived at the Erbil airport on Sunday, Kurdish forces were able to resupply and go on the offensive against ISIS militants. On Saturday they managed to take Kaske, a key military base, back from the radical terrorists. Mosul is the second largest city in Iraq.
Heavy fighting was reported in Zumar today. On the first of the clashes 13 Peshmargas were killed. Kurdish military officials reported some 20 militants killed and 30 captured. The Peshmergas are the Kurdish fighting forces.
With the Iraqi Army practically non-functional, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces have been a bulwark against an advance by ISIS terrorists. ISIS has has declared a Caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq.
As the only cohesive fighting force in the region, Kurdish leaders and Peshmerga have appealed for heavy weapons from Western countries, including the United States.
Local families have fled the region, many hiding in caves to escape the intense violence. Late last month ISIS gave Christians in the Mosul area an ultimatum: Convert to Islam, leave the area, or die. Christians who were able, packed what they could carry and prepared to leave the city.
As the families were preparing their final exodus, gathered in a central location, they were robbed of all their worldly possessions, including identification, documentation; precious crucifixes were torn from around the wearer’s necks.