The McClatchy News Service via the Miami (of Florida) Herald is reporting that the terrorist army of ISIS is close to the total encirclement of the Iraqi national capital. The insurgents fighting against government forces are as close as six miles from the southern fringes of Baghdad.
Further complicating the military situation, the soldiers of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, fighting to keep the city from falling, are making their stand fifty miles north of the outskirts of Baghdad at the sprawling military installation formerly known as Camp Anaconda. Britain’s International Business Times is reporting that Joint Base Balad (formerly known as al-Bakr Air Base) is surrounded on three sides by ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) fighters who are hammering away at Iraqi Army forces in the beleaguered former American Air Force base.
Reportedly, the base is facing continuous mortar barrages from the al-Qaeda-allied ISIS forces. The quasi-independent Kurdistan Regional Government in the north of Iraq, considered a reliable source by many Middle East watchers, believes the central government in Baghdad is near collapse. Shafin Dizayee, a spokesman for the Kurdish government, flatly stated: “The picture is no longer scary. It has become close to a nightmare scenario, where we see DAASH expanding and taking control of its borders. “DAASH” (or DAESH) is the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
Jabbar Yawar, spokesman for the Kurdish Peshmerga Militia, claimed anti-government forces have already “seized control of the towns of Iskandariya (Alexandria) and Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad, and were reported in some instances to be just six miles from Baghdad.” In the last year, ISIS troops have seized huge swaths of western Iraqi territory stretching from the Syrian border to within 25 miles the western outskirts of Baghdad.