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Militants Overrun Iraq’s Second-Largest City As Government Forces Flee

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Militants Overrun Iraq’s Second-Largest City As Government Forces Flee

Mosul Strike Is Serious Blow to Baghdad’s Efforts to Control Widening Insurgency

By ALI A. NABHAN And MATT BRADLEY, WSJ, Jun. 10, 2014

“BAGHDAD—Al Qaeda-inspired militants seized control of Iraq’s second-largest city on Tuesday in a brazen military operation that underscored the weakness of the Baghdad government across vast swaths of the country.

Hours after government forces fled Mosul in disarray following four days of fighting, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared a nationwide “state of maximum preparedness” but didn’t indicate whether government forces were mobilizing to retake the Iraqi city, 220 miles north of the capital Baghdad.

The capture of Mosul by rebels linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, is the latest evidence of the weakness and disorganization that have beset Iraq’s security forces since the U.S. forces withdrew from the country in December 2011.”…

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