Taking over Mosul
When ISIS fighters took control over Mosul on June 10, 2014, the New York Times reported that the Iraqi Army “apparently crumbled in the face of the militant assault, as soldiers dropped their weapons, shed their uniforms for civilian clothes and blended in with the fleeing masses. The story painted a picture of utter terror and submission, as one soldier told the paper, “They took control of everything, and they are everywhere.”
According to Al Jazeera, “Not since Osama bin Laden has a leader been held in such reverence among Sunni fighters, scored such stunning and shocking victories, and threatened so much of the established order.” The report almost seemed to praise al-Baghdadi’s rise from modest means to emir of ISIS, writing that, “Baghdadi has literally fought his way from ordinary beginnings in northern Iraq to lead what is perhaps the Middle East’s most feared irregular force.”
One week later, Al Arabiya general manager Abdulrahman al-Rashed pinned the debacle on Prime Minister al-Maliki. He wrote that, “Events once again proved that the problem lies with Nuri al-Maliki’s leadership. He is an ignorant and authoritarian prime minister who is in control of all jurisdictions…One of his current follies is that he’s attacking his rivals and provoking them to collectively act against him.”
Meanwhile, as the U.S. moved several navy ships to the Persian Gulf, NBC Newsnoted “heightened concerns over deepening U.S. involvement in a conflict that most Americans thought was behind them.” The network also raised several questions, including “can the assault by the Sunni militants be stopped, will the U.S. military bolster its presence in Baghdad and how will the instability in Iraq affect the rest of the Middle East.”
On June 24, 2017, Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP) launched back-to-back explosions at a market in Kurram Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in northwest Pakistan. The attack killed 67 people who were shopping in preparation for a religious holiday and wounded 200 others.