ISIS rises as Iraqi cities fall

Falluja, Mosul and Tikrit have all fallen to ISIS.

UN Photo: Eskinder Debebe
Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister of Iraq, in Baghdad in January.
Gwynne Dyer
Published: Thursday, 06/12/2014 9:02 pm EDT
Last Updated: Wednesday, 06/18/2014 11:07 pm EDT

The Iraqi army will have to destroy Mosul in order to save it—and it’s not clear whether it can do the job even then. It isn’t so much an army as a vast system of patronage providing employment of a sort for 900,000 people. When ISIS jihadis fought their way into Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, over the past few days, most of the government’s soldiers just shed their uniforms and fled.

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