CBS/AP June 10, 2014
BAGHDAD -- Islamic militants overran parts of Iraq's second-largest city of Mosul on Tuesday, driving security forces from their posts and seizing the provincial government headquarters, security bases and other key buildings. Gunmen cruised through neighborhoods, waving black banners while residents fled.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pressed parliament to declare a state of emergency.
The fight for Mosul was a heavy defeat in Baghdad's battle against a widening insurgency by a breakaway al Qaeda group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
, which has been trying - with some success - to seize territory both in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
Earlier this year, the group captured another Iraqi city, Fallujah
, in the west of the country, and government forces have been unable to take it back after months of fighting. The far larger Mosul is an even more strategic prize. The city and surrounding Ninevah province are a major export route for Iraqi oil and a gateway to Syria.
It appears more and more unlikely that Iraq will ever stabilize before bursting into flames, as predicted by Jeremiah. Once the cities begin to burn, the fourth judgment will have come to pass. The last five will each be more devastating than the previous one.