OVERRUN

Al Qaeda Offshoot Seizes Mosul, Iraq

Haidar Hamdani/AFP/Getty

Iraq is increasingly falling out of government control. Insurgents managed to secure most of the northern city of Mosul, Iraq's second largest, early Tuesday. Militants from the al Qaeda offshoot the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) successfully seized the western bank of the city during the night. Soldiers and police “dropped their weapons and abandoned their posts,” said Iraq’s speaker of parliament Osama Nujaifi. Some even discarded their uniforms to evade the insurgent forces. Nujaifi said the insurgents controlled all key institutions, including the airport and prisons, and many have been killed. “Everything is fallen. It’s a crisis,” he admitted. “Having these terrorist groups control a city in the heart of Iraq threatens not only Iraq but the entire region.” The government ordered a state of emergency for the entire country and requested help from allied countries. The U.S. has said it will provide "all appropriate assistance to the government of Iraq."