Iraq crisis: Timeline and Reactions

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2014-06-17 18:00:00

              Latest News

Tikrit ablaze as army, ISIS clash
Iraqi forces fought for a strategically located university campus outside Tikrit on June 27 and bombarded the city in an effort to retake it from Sunni Arab insurgents.

Stranded Chinese workers evacuated in Iraq
Some 1,200 Chinese workers stranded in a conflict zone in Iraq are being evacuated to safety after several previous attempts to extract them failed.

Kerry urges Kurds to stand with Baghdad
US Secretary of State John Kerry held crisis talks with leaders of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region on June 24 urging them to stand with Baghdad in the face of a Sunni insurgent onslaught that threatens to dismember the country.

US mulls airstrikes in Iraq, but no clear path forward
Iraqi PM, Kerry agree Iraqi crisis threat to region, world
Maliki bogged down as Iraq crisis mounts


The terrorists are targeting all the provinces, particularly the capital Baghdad, as well as the Shiite provinces of Karbala and Najaf.

June 26, 2014Militants took a town an hour from Baghdad that is home to four natural gas fields on June 26, another gain by Sunni insurgents who have swiftly taken large areas to the north and west of the Iraqi capital.
June 22, 2014Iraqi security forces withdrew from three cities in Iraq's western province of Anbar, after the Sunni militants took control of a fourth strategic city near the border with Syria, a provincial police source said on June 22.
June 21, 2014Iraq's Sunni militant groups have seized large part of a key city near the Syrian border after fierce clashes with Iraqi security forces on June 21 in Iraq's western province of Anbar, security sources said.
June 15, 2014Iraqi security forces have killed some 279 insurgents in four provinces across the country in the past 24 hours, a security spokesman said.
 June 15, 2014ISIS fighters captured the mainly ethnic Turkmen city of Tal Afar in northwestern Iraq overnight after heavy fighting, solidifying their grip on the north.
June 14, 2014The Iraqi security forces retook control of three towns in Salahudin province, while the troops buildup continues in south of the provincial capital city of Tikrit to attack it later.
June 13, 2014Iraqi security forces battled insurgents' attempts to advance toward cities in the country's eastern province of Diyala, a provincial police source said.
June 13, 2014The insurgents attacked and took control of Jalawlaa, 130 km northeast of Baghdad. Also in the province, the security forces withdrew from the city of Saadiyah, 120 km northeast of Baghdad, without fighting, but the Kurdish security forces took over the city.
June 12, 2014The Kurdish Peshmerga took control of Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk after the Iraqi army withdrew from its military base in the area.
June 11, 2014Militant groups took control of the northern city of Tikrit, the capital of Salahudin province, on the afternoon of June 11.
June 10, 2014Armed militant groups took control of more towns in Iraq's oil-rich province of Kikruk. Hundreds of gunmen stormed the predominantly Arab towns of Hawijah, Zab, Riyadh, Abbasi and Rashad in south and west of the city of Kikruk, some 250 km north of Baghdad.
June 10, 2014The terrorist-backed ISIS dealt a heavy blow to Iraq by occupying the nation's second-largest city of Mossul, the capital of Nineveh province.


On June 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki declared highest alert in the country and called for emergency session for the parliament to declare state of emergency to confront the latest deterioration of security situation. 
Iran said it has no need for direct talks with the United States over the worsening security conditions in Iraq, official IRNA news agency quoted an Iranian foreign ministry official as saying on June 16.

Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham meanwhile warned on June 15 that "any foreign military intervention in Iraq" would only complicate the crisis. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said a day earlier that Iran had not been asked for help by its neighbor.
The US is considering air strikes to help the Iraqi government fend off the stunning onslaught by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as well as possible discussions with neighboring Iran, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on June 16.

US President Barack Obama on June 16 notified Congress that up to about 275 US military personnel were deploying to Iraq to provide support and security for US personnel and the American embassy in Baghdad.

The United States on June 16 ruled out coordination with Iran over military actions against Islamic militants in Iraq, despite Washington's declared willingness to have a military cooperation with Tehran.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman has said in the wake of the latest violence in Iraq that China is hoping for an early restoration of peace there. "China supports the Iraqi government's efforts to safeguard security and stability," Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing.
Bahrain on June 16 recalled its envoy from Iraq as Al Qaeda-backed militant groups have consolidated their positions and are moving close to Baghdad.
Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said on June 16 Jordan is closely following up the security situation in Iraq and its army is on alert to protect the country from effects of the bloody clashes between Iraqi militants and security forces, the state-run Petra news reported.

Turkey is sending humanitarian aid to the violence-hit cities of neighboring Iraq, particularly to the Turkmen-populated areas, a Turkish high-ranking official said on June 16.
Saudi Arabia said on June 16 it rejected any foreign intervention in Iraq's domestic affairs as the country is trying to turn around a worsening security situation, according to an official statement.

International Organizations:

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq
has reported that up to half a million people have been displaced by the fighting in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, including 300,000 of them who have fled to Erbil and Dohuk in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, a UN spokesman said on June 16.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on June 16 said it is working with local and international partners in Iraq to meet the urgent health needs of population affected by the ongoing crisis.


Global Times

US faces only uncomfortable choices in Iraq
The US cannot successfully act alone as an external superpower to critically influence developments in the greater Middle East, as it had happened in the past. As long as borders in the region are passing through a stage of reorganization due to ongoing sectarian and religious conflicts, the geopolitical balance will be largely shaped by local powers.

Washington may repeat same inept blunders that caused lasting Iraq disaster
The deepening crisis in Iraq is a result of mistakes of US Middle East policy under two presidents. Washington does not learn from mistakes, so tensions inevitably will rise in the already disintegrating region.

Middle East needs peaceful victories, not bloody battlefield triumphs

Editorial: ISIS massacre in Iraq shames Washington

Iraq setback demonstrates failed US nation-building

Vietnam, Iraq show limits of interventionism

US withdrawal deepens Mideast turmoil

US under Obama reluctant to stop making messes all over the world

Obama in tough spot amid worsening Iraqi chaos
Despite promises not to use US ground forces, any type of US involvement in the embattled country, even if just from the air, will undoubtedly spark concern from critics who fret an air campaign could be the first action that will suck the US into yet another Mideastern conflict.
If the US does take military action, experts said US forces need to tread lightly and carefully, and that the US should target ISIL and not Sunni Arab populations as a whole.

David DeVoss, former senior Time magazine correspondent and project director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Iraq for five years:
David DeVoss said that it is a mistake for the Iraqi government to expel all the Sunnis from the government, and ethnic conflict has intensified between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. Washington can do nothing to help in this field, he said.


● About ISIL
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an Al Qaeda breakaway group, hopes to establish an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria, fighting to capture border towns and cities from both countries to achieve its goal.

"Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" is also abbreviated as ISIS, the latter “s” referring to the Arabic word "al-Sham." This can mean the Levant, Syria or even Damascus but in the context of the global jihad it refers to the Levant, according to the BBC.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL, was called the “new Bin Laden” by French newspaper Le Monde.  

● About the Kurdish Peshmerga
The Kurdish Peshmerga are the security forces mandated to protect the autonomous Kurdistan region in Iraq's north.

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