Jun 13 2014
President Obama has said he would not rule out military action against a militant group in the North of Iraq which has taken over several cities and is currently marching toward the capital Baghdad. The group, calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has a broad plan to build a pan-Islamic Sunni state encompassing Iraq and Syria.
The Washington Post is reporting that “volunteers” are flocking to Baghdad to protect the capital against the coming onslaught. And, a spokesperson for Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the powerful Shiite cleric, has called for people to arm themselves and “defend the country, the citizens and the holy sites.”
So far the cities of Mosul, which is Iraq’s second largest city, followed by Tikrit, have been captured by ISIS. The group’s fighters have been apparently streaming over the border with Syria. Iraqi forces conducted air strikes on Tikrit overnight and are claiming they have retaken the city.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Kurdish forces have taken over the city of Kirkuk, after the national army apparently fled. The Kurds are vowing to defend Kirkuk from ISIS.
GUESTS: Matt Howard, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Nabil Al-Tikriti, Associate Professor of History at University of Mary Washington in Virginia