On Friday, June 13, Prime Minister Maliki travelled to the city of Samarra for a security meeting to discuss the force protection and security measures with town officials. PM Maliki also visited the Shia Shrine in the city. Prime Minister Maliki said, “The cabinet granted the prime minister, the commander in chief of the armed forces, unlimited powers.”
AFP media reported that all exits and entrances into Nineveh province are in full control of ISIS militants. In Mosul, the ISIS captured several Blackhawk helicopters along with a variety of military vehicles and equipment left behind by the Iraqi army.
An Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), spokesman has made statements that his fighters would advance to Baghdad and Karbala. The ISIL has made public statements saying that they will flatten all Shia shrines. The Shia shrines are located in Samarra, Najaf and Karbala.
This past Friday, the Najaf Shia Cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged Iraqi’s to take up arms against the Sunni militants that are advancing towards Baghdad.
The Iraqi security forces responsible for the protection of the Turkish consulate have abandoned their posts while the ISIL seized Mosul. The ISIL militants have surrounded the consulate, they have taken a Turkish diplomat as well as a staff hostage. The ISIL continues to hold 80 Turkish citizens hostage after they were kidnapped from the Turkish consulate in Mosul. The hostages are so far unharmed and have been taken to an unknown location. The Turkish government is urging its citizens to leave Iraq from either Erbil or Baghdad on Turkish Airlines. There are no set plans for a full evacuation of Turkish citizens from Iraq. The Turkish government has conducted a risk analysis and has decided that there is no need for full evacuation.
“The security situation in Baghdad is completely stable.” Iraq’s military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta said the capital was safe. “The situation in Samarra is completely stable and the troops are prepared for any terrorist plans.”
It appears that the Iraqi army has halted the ISIL militants from entering Baghdad.