Iraq digs in for the Battle of Baghdad

Humvees of the new Iraqi Army - Public Domain

By last night, they had reached the town of Balad, just 55 miles north of Baghdad, and the battle rages there, as Iraq’s leaders bid to save the capital from being overrun, as many other Iraqi cities already have.

As the battle for Baghdad loomed, the U.S. yesterday ordered aircraft carrier George H W Bush to move to the Persian Gulf for possible air strikes against the militants, while Iranian president Hassan Rouhani suggested the two traditional enemies may work together to defend Iraq, saying: ‘When the U.S. takes action against [the militants], then one can think about cooperation.’

At a checkpoint near his base at Camp Taji on the Baghdad-Samarra Highway, Lt Omar al-Saadi shouted down to me yesterday. ‘Things are very bad up there but we are ready for it. This is our country and our people. We can defeat the terrorists,’ he said.

Several armoured Jeeps and Hummers donated by the American military were being towed, disabled in fire-fights with jihadists who have seized tanks, weapons and even Hummers as their spoils of war in Mosul and Tikrit.

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1 thought on “Iraq digs in for the Battle of Baghdad”

  1. If these militants are based on religious concepts of the people, there is little that can be done.
    The problem is it will end up in a blood bath on both sides.
    This violence is a curse on all the people of Iraq. How many mother’s sons must die before you learn that violence is never the answer. Probably never. And so intelligent people leave the region because in the end no one wins, even the winners.
    The fruits of the devil is what it is all about and the elimination by terror of all beliefs except those of the militants? For every person that is really good at destroying, there is someone out there that is better at it than you. That is the meaning of those that live by the sword shall die by the sword.
    For instance, the Chinese have the capacity to overwhelm with an army many times the size of anything any one else has. At one time they willingly sacrificed many troops. The idea was even if one million Chinese died to one enemy, then pretty soon there would be no enemy to fight.
    I use China as an example of a country in the distant past willing to kill their own people in millions to reach a victory. I use them as an example of what might happen down the road when both sides have killed too many off to defend the country.

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