Al-Qaeda offshoot in Iraq offensive LIVE UPDATES
Edited time: August 11, 2014 14:44
Radical Sunni militants of Al-Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State are advancing and capturing cities in the north of Iraq. The jihadists have declared the capture of the capital Baghdad as their top priority objective.
Saturday, August 16
The US has carried out air strikes against Islamic State militants next to Erbil, the Kurdish capital and the Mosul Dam.
“The nine air strikes conducted thus far destroyed or damaged four armored personnel carriers, seven armed vehicles, two Humvees and an armored vehicle,” the US Central Command said.
Kurdish forces backed up by US airstrikes are fighting to retake the strategic Mosul dam from Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Iraq. The operation began on Saturday morning with raids by F-18 Hornet fighters and drones, according to US officials. Kurdish peshmerga fighters have shelled IS militant’s positions and there is an unconfirmed report of a ground attack.
Friday, August 15
A website owned by a young Polish man has unwittingly helped the Islamic State spread their propaganda around the globe through the posting of videos and images, as numerous social platforms are outlawing material from the militant group.
The leader of Lebanese Shia Islamist militant group Hezbollah, Hasan Nasrallah says that the Islamic State poses an “existential threat” in the region.
Nasrallah said the Islamic State is planning “on expanding toward Jordan and Saudi Arabia,” as he called on the Lebanese to “confront it,” Israel National News reports.
“We must find true, realistic and serious means to counter this threat,” he said adding “let’s gather our forces and strong points to counter those threats.”
“Logic, our religion, ethics and experience have taught us that if a society is facing an existential threat, the priority becomes to counter that existential threat and whoever fails to do so exposes their people to danger and slaughtering,” Nasrallah said.
— VICE News (@vicenews) August 15, 2014
The Islamic State publicly executed the muezzin as the militants blew up a Shiite prayer hall in the Iraqi town of Jalawla, witnesses and a regional police chief said.
“Then they shot him dead in front of his mosque,” police official for Diyala province told AFP. Elsewhere in Iraq, in Sayed Ahmad village ISIS also executed six policemen, the same sources added.
Some 80 members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority have been massacred by Islamic State militants in a village in Iraq’s north, Kurdish officials said.
“They arrived in vehicles and they started their killing this afternoon,” senior Kurdish official Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters.“We believe it’s because of their creed: convert or be killed.”
The Czech Republic plans to start delivering firearms and munitions to Kurds fighting Islamic State militants in northern Iraq at the end of August. “The Foreign Ministry considers the end of August as a realistic date for starting deliveries,” Reuters quoted Czech diplomats as saying Friday. Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said Wednesday the shipments did not have to come from state warehouses as there were private companies that could deliver the goods.
Britain is ramping up support for Kurdish forces fighting IS militants in Northern Iraq by considering supplying them with arms. The move follows a steady increase in UK involvement, including sending SAS soldiers and surveillance craft to the region.
“We will also continue our work to ensure that Kurdish forces have the military supplies they require, including transporting more equipment from Eastern Europe,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.
“In the longer term, it is vital that Iraqi and Kurdish forces are able to stop the advance of ISIL [now IS] terrorists across the country,” the spokesperson said on Thursday. The UK pledged its support for Iraq’s new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who was tasked with swiftly establishing an inclusive Iraqi government after former PM Nouri al-Maliki bowed down to pressure to resign.
Thursday, August 14
Iraq’s Nouri al-Maliki has announced his resignation from the post of Prime Minister of the embattled state in a speech on state television. He said that he supported his nominated replacement in the post, Haider al-Abadi.
Nouri al-Maliki has surrendered his power in face of the ISIS onslaught in Iraq and now supports his replacement, Haider al-Abadi that was nominated by the country’s president on Monday.