There is “immense fear among everybody” in Baghdad with some too frightened to leave their homes due to the threat from Islamic State, according to a vicar in the city.
Canon Andrew White spoke to Sky News as IS militants were reportedly only a mile away from the capital amid clashes with Iraqi soldiers.
There has also been renewed fighting in the central cities of Baquba and Ramadi.
And in Syria despite the recent coalition airstrikes, fighters from IS, also known as ISIS, are thought to be within three miles of the strategic border town of Kobani.
Canon White, the vicar of St George’s Church – the only Anglican church in Iraq – said civilians were being killed by coalition air raids in Iraq.
He said: “I’ve never known the city like it is at the moment.
Canon Andrew White warned of a ‘crisis point’ in Baghdad
“Streets which are usually choc-a-bloc with traffic, cars and people are almost empty. People are too fearful to even leave their homes.
“We are at a crisis point. People know ISIS are coming nearer. People are being killed by the (air) attacks of the coalition.”
He said of the Islamic State advance: “This is horrendous. We have civilians being killed yet IS are moving towards Baghdad.”
He said soon the militants would be on Baghdad’s doorstep and entering the capital.
In an earlier Facebook post he wrote: “Over 1,000 Iraqi troops were killed by ISIS yesterday (Sunday), things are so bad.
“All the military airstrikes are doing nothing. If ever we needed your prayer it is now.”
He also told Sky’s Adam Boulton that his church would be “very high up” on the extremist group’s target list and “I must be at the top of the list”.
Islamic State has in recent months taken over large parts of northern Iraq.
The vicar said one soldier told him if he was confronted by IS he would “take off his uniform and run” and was in the army “because he needs the money”.
Canon White went on: “This sadly is the kind of attitude of so many of these forces who should be coming to our aid and help.”
His work is supported by the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, which said on Facebook: “The Islamic State are now less than 2km away from entering Baghdad.
“They said it could never happen and now it almost has. Obama says he overestimated what the Iraqi army could do.
“Well you only need to be here a very short while to know they can do very very little.”