Iraqis at a checkpoint near the Iraqi city of Arbil on Tuesday. Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki ordered a state of emergency for the entire country. (Credit: Safin Hamed/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)
Published on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 by Common Dreams - Jon Queally, staff writer
Eleven years after US invasion, mass exodus follows violent assault on nation's second largest city
The entire nation of Iraq is under a declared state of emergency on Tuesday after a military assault by Sunni insurgents overpowered government soldiers in the northern city of Mosul.
As the Iraq Army retreated, reports indicate that the anti-government militias have seized military bases and prisons in the city, releasing more than a thousand prisoners who were held.
The Guardian reports that Iraqi government officials in Mosul "say the city is now effectively in the hands of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a group inspired by al-Qaida that has remained in control of parts of Falluja and Ramadi for the past six months."
“Mosul now is like hell. It’s up in flames and death is everywhere," said Amina Ibrahim, a resident of the city who spoke with a Reuters reporter as she fled north from the city with her children.