ISIS militants march on despite airstrikes, international outrage


Despite airstrikes and international outrage against ISIS militants, the terror group is overrunning Iraqi forces and slowly marching on toward a province on Baghdad’s doorstep. And as alarming developments piled up over the weekend, Iraqi forces threatened to flee if the U.S. military does not intervene.
Here are where things stand:
On Baghdad’s doorstep
ISIS fighters are making headway against poorly equipped local forces. The Islamist extremists appear set to take Kobani, a key Syrian town along the Turkish border. Next up: a province on Baghdad’s doorstep.
Baghdad airport at risk as ISIS advances
Iraq’s Anbar province pleaded for U.S. ground troops to halt the group’s rapid, relentless assault.
Explosions in Kobani get more intense ISIS trying to overtake Anbar province U.S. insists Baghdad safe from ISIS ISIS threatens area near Baghdad
The terror group came within 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) of Baghdad’s airport, according to the leader of U.S. military efforts to fight ISIS in Iraq.
The United States brought in low-flying attack helicopters to keep ISIS at bay, Gen. Martin Dempsey told ABC on Sunday.
“You’re not going to wait until they’re climbing over the wall,” Dempsey said. “Had (ISIS forces) overrun the Iraqi unit, it was a straight shot to the Baghdad airport.”
Anbar province at risk
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is moving — fast.
The group, which calls itself the Islamic State, controls about 80% of the province, according to Sabah Al-Karhout, president of Anbar Provincial Council.
If the province falls, the Sunni extremists would take over an area from the perimeter of Iraq’s capital to Raqqa in Syria, according to Falleh al-Issawi, the provincial council’s deputy head.
Iraq’s military abandoned a strategically important base in Anbar after heavy fighting with ISIS militants, provincial security force sources told CNN on Monday.
The base outside Hit was one of the Shiite-led government’s few remaining military outposts in the predominantly Sunni province.
Targeting law enforcement
No one is safe from the militants. The police chief of the province was killed over the weekend when a blast targeted his convoy, authorities said.
The attack is just one of the things sending shock waves among forces fighting the militants.
Kurds hold out hope despite ISIS gains
Photos: Syrian civil war in 2014 Photos: Syrian civil war in 2014
Iraqi refugees flee from ISIS Gen. Wesley Clark: ISIS fight is Iraq redux
Iraqi army forces and Anbar tribesmen have threatened to abandon their weapons if the U.S. military does not intervene.
The army soldiers lack training and equipment, according to local authorities. Already, some 1,800 tribesmen in the province have been killed or injured in the struggle.
Iraqi officials have been adamant that they don’t want U.S. forces on the ground. President Barack Obama has not shown any intent to deploy any.


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