#AceBreakingNews – BAGHDAD – Islamic State’s offensive on the Iraqi capital intensified as the jihadist fighters advanced as far as Abu Ghraib, a suburb only 8 miles away from Baghdad’s international airport.
The outer suburb of Abu Ghraib is also the site of the infamous prison the US military used to humiliate and torture Iraqi detainees.
There are reports by the Iraqi military that the militants are in possession of MANPAD anti-aircraft missiles.
The short-range, shoulder-fired missiles can shoot down airplanes within a range of 15,000 feet.
The Iraqi military, aided by US military personnel, have so far failed in foiling the advance toward Baghdad of the Islamic State militia (also known as ISIS, or ISIL), which has expanded its control of huge swathes of Iraq and Syria despite the increase in US-led air-strikes.
A total of 60,000 Iraqi soldiers are assigned to defend the capital, alongside 12 teams of American advisors, an Iraqi officer told CBS News.
Meanwhile, undercover IS militants active within Baghdad are setting off bombs and carrying out attacks.
Swift advances have also been by the jihadist militia in Anbar, where Iraqi officials have made an open plea for military aid, warning the city will soon fall to IS.
The situation in Anbar, a town due west of Baghdad, is “fragile” a US official told AFP. IS has seized army bases in Anbar province, and has been shelling the provincial capital, Ramadi, 75 miles (120 kilometers) from Baghdad.
CNN reported that Iraqi troops in Anbar are in danger of being bottlenecked, citing a senior US defense official.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) October 10, 2014
“We do see ISIL continue to make gains in Anbar province and [are] mindful of how Anbar relates to the security of Baghdad,” another senior US defense official said.
Anbar province is home to Iraq’s second biggest dam at Haditha, a major source of water and electrical power.
The dam is currently controlled by Iraqi forces, and US airstrikes have targeted IS forces in the area .
#AceWorldNews – IRAQ (Ramadi) – Militants have stormed a university in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, briefly taking dozens of students and staff hostage before retreating under fire.
At least two people died in the attack, but officials said security forces were now back in control of the campus.
(The militants were said to be from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant)
Saturday’s attack was the third major assault by insurgents in as many days following raids on Mosul in the north and the central city of Samarra.
Police said militants had infiltrated the campus in the early hours from the neighbouring al-Tasha district, blowing up a bridge to the university’s main gate.
Security personnel sealed off the campus and one Agence France-Presse reporter said special forces had led an assault.
One student, Ahmed al-Mehamdi, told the Associated Press news agency by telephone that he awoke to gunfire and saw armed men running across the campus.
The gunmen entered the dormitory and told everybody to stay in their rooms. Some students were taken to other buildings, he said, but others were trapped and “in panic”.
He said the gunmen had said they belonged to ISIS, a Sunni group which grew out of al-Qaeda’s Iraqi operation.
Later, he told AP he had managed to escape, and that “this crisis ended almost peacefully and no student was hurt as far as I know”.
BBC – AP
#AceWorldNews says attacks in Iraq are increasing and getting ever more severe, with the latest killing seven soldiers and police Tuesday, AFP reports, citing officials.
A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle near the provincial council headquarters in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province.
Three soldiers were killed and at least four wounded. In a village west of Baiji, a town north of Baghdad, gunmen attacked a police checkpoint, killing four police and wounding three more.
The attacks came a day after violence in the country killed 35 people.
#AceWorldNews says In a statement read out during a formal meeting this evening Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, Permanent Representative of Jordan, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for the month, the 15-nation body deplored the recent surge in violence in Anbar province, where, for the past week, media reports have citied deadly clashes between Iraqi-Troops and Al-Qaeda-Affiliated-Fighters.
Condemning the attacks by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) “against the people of Iraq in an attempt to destabilize the country and region,” the Council recognized that Iraqi security forces, local police and tribes in Anbar province are showing great courage as they fight to defeat ISIL in their cities.
“The Security Council urges the people of Iraq, including Iraqi tribes, local leaders, and Iraqi security forces in Anbar province, to continue, expand and strengthen their cooperation against violence and terror,” said the 15-member body, stresses the critical importance of continued national dialogue and unity.
The Council in its statement welcomed comments from Grand Ayatollah Sistani welcoming internally displaced residents of Anbar to Najaf and Karbala, as well as the commitment of a number of communities – Sunni, Shia and Kurd – to meet the needs of the displaced.
Expressing its strong support for the continued efforts of the Iraqi Government to help meet the security needs of the entire population of Iraq, the Council acknowledged the efforts of the Iraqi security forces and local police, “whose members are also being targeted and killed in ongoing attacks by terrorists”
The Council went on to welcome the Government’s commitment in the protection of the civilian population in Fallujah and elsewhere, and to the provision of humanitarian relief. It encouraged the Government to continue working with the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and humanitarian agencies to ensure the delivery of relief aid.
Concerned about the impact of the violence on civilians, the 15-nation body encouraged the safe passage of civilians trapped in conflict areas, as well as the safe return of internally displaced persons as conditions allow.
“The Security Council stresses the critical importance of continued national dialogue and unity, an inclusive political process, the holding of free and fair elections in April 2014, and the right to peaceful protest as guaranteed under the Iraqi Constitution,” the Council said, stressing its belief that this is vital to underpin a unified national stance against terrorism, and to ensure Iraq’s long-term security.
Reaffirming the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice, the Council members also reaffirmed that ISIL is subject to the arms embargo and assets freeze imposed by Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and 2083 (2012).
The Council reaffirmed the need to combat all forms of terrorism and reiterated that “no terrorist act can reverse the path towards peace, democracy and reconstruction in Iraq, which is supported by the people and the Government of Iraq and the international community.”