Al-Qaeda aligned terror groups have made major land gains from the Syrian civil war into the heartland of Iraq over the last several days.
Despite the herculean efforts of the United States military with the Multi-National Force in Iraq from 2003 to 2011, Iraq appears to be sliding into violent chaos across much of its territory between Baghdad and the border with Syria.
Fueled by training in the Syrian civil war and allowed by the vacuum of no major U.S. forces in Iraq, the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), is poised to take control of the most land mass since al-Qaeda formed in the late 1980s. According to videos posted by ISIS on social media, the militants also captured U.S. Humvees and Blackhawk helicopters from the Iraqi forces.
So far this week, ISIS forces have captured Tikrit -- the former home of Saddam Hussein and his political movement -- and Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. As ISIS forces converged on Mosul on Tuesday
, U.S.-trained Iraqi forces collapsed and fled the city. Tikrit is less than 100 miles from Iraq's capital of Baghdad, while Mosul is just 225 miles to the northwest from Baghdad.
"The city of Mosul is outside the control of the state and at the mercy of the militants," an interior ministry official told the Agence France Presse news agency, saying soldiers had fled after removing their uniforms.
Several residents told the Associated Press that the militants were now touring the city with loudspeakers, announcing that they had "come to liberate Mosul and would fight only those who attack them."
Reports from Mosul detail mass beheadings of residents by the ISIS terrorists
and a flood of hundreds of thousands of refugees out of the city.
The al-Qaeda aligned ISIS organization now effectively controls a region from the eastern Syrian city of Raqaa, over the through the western Iraqi desert up to northern Iraq and less than 100 miles from Baghdad.