ISIS Takes Mosul Dam and Wreaks Havoc in Yezidi Towns

ISIS unleashed its wrath yesterday on the Yezidis in Sinjar (aka Yazidis in Shingal) and two other towns in the Ninewa Province in northern Iraq. Here's a recap of the day's events. The U.N. says 200,000 Yezidis have been displaced. Thousands of cars were trying to leave, more than would fit on the roads. Here's a video. [More...]

ISIS gave the Yezidis in Sinjar and neighboring Sheikhan until nightfall to vacate. Many Yezidis fled on foot to the mountains, where there is no water or food, or shelter. Several have died, including children. ISIS is also killing many of them. More here.

The U.S. State Department response is here. The Peshmerga tried to help early on but ran out of ammo and had no major weapons so they withdrew. Heavy weapons were sent from Iraq , and some have now arrived. The fighting continues.

ISIS also destroyed the Sayeda Zeinab shrine near Mosul (video here, photo here). This is not the beautiful mosque with the tomb, known as the Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque, outside Damascus.

Check out this video of an intrepid female reporter named Berfin Hêzil. She keeps going as the fighter trucks go right by her, interviews the fleeing Yezidis, and runs with the fighting soldiers as they head into battle.

ISIS also took control of the Mosul Dam, and two oil fields, in Ain Zala and Batma.

Just another busy day for the ISIS adrenaline junkies.

< Sunday Open Thread | Monday Night Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Jeralyn, (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by ZtoA on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:36:33 PM EST
    Thanks so much for covering ISIS.

    you're welcome (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:43:54 AM EST
    I think they are fascinating in a horrible way. Like a train wreck you can't look away from. There are a few really good reporters and analysts on Twitter who always have the latest and are very reliable, and then there are their supporters and  "fanboys" who re-post official ISIS media releases and opine (from ISIS' point of view) on what it means. There is something very different about them, and as I've said from the beginning, notwithstanding their atrocities, they are not so much a terrorist group as a military force, whose goal is to create one single state all over the Mideast, which they will rule and govern. Considering they are now in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and gaining territory and recruits every day, the media here should pay more attention to them.

    They have had (none / 0) (#35)
    by NYShooter on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:30:39 AM EST
    a tremendous amount of success, so far.

    The day of reckoning will come, I believe, when Iran & Saudi Arabia (The two Big Dogs in the region) determine how far is far enough for ISIS.

    While Iran (Shia) and S.A. (Sunni) are natural "enemies" I heard a high ranking Saudi Minister state that when it comes to addressing the growing ISIS threat, the two are working together (quietly & behind the scenes.)


    When you first started writing about ISIS (none / 0) (#39)
    by ZtoA on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:01:18 PM EST
    I started googling and looking for news about it. There was practically nothing in US media. All sources seemed to be The Guardian, al Jazeera, and european sources. Al Jazeera has a good article on the origins of ISIS (can't remember if you've already linked to this). More recently, tho, US media has started to cover it. ISIS seems very canny to me, flowing into areas of existing instability. Iraq was destabilized and now Syria is.

    Best ISIS coverage around (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Jack203 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:37:00 PM EST

    I'll be more concerned if ISIS starts taking majority Shiite cities. (They won't)

    I think the Sunni regimes of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt are in more danger of ISIS.  However, Egypt just kicked the Islamists out of power.   If the Islamists couldn't make it in a disaster of a country such as Egypt.  It's a good sign that ISIS won't make much traction.  I don't think they will, but you never know.

    In the end, I don't see ISIS doing much of anything except pretty much acting like total psychopaths and committing atrocities in the Iraqi/Syria Sunni lands.

    The Sunni lands will not be controllable by the Iraqi or Syrian governments anytime soon.  Should we worry about this?  Should we go to immediate war?  NO!
    This is a very similar situation as the uncontrollable Pakistan northern tribal lands.  They are controlled by the Taliban.  

    The "great" George Bush could not clean them out JIM. Not Obama either, not any American, as the lands are still in Pakistan.  If we attacked Pakistan, along with Afghanistan, and Iraq.  We would be 0-3 instead 0-2.


    Obama fiddles while the ME burns (1.00 / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:06:30 PM EST
    Now is the time to act. Air support would do wonders for the Iraq forces.

    Time for my once-a-year (1.00 / 0) (#4)
    by jondee on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:47:30 PM EST
    Agreement with Jim.

    Though it'd be only fitting if, along with the regular bombs,they strapped Bush, Cheney, and Wolfowitz to three of them.

    Sounds like a... (none / 0) (#6)
    by unitron on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 08:17:55 PM EST
    ...win-win-win situation to me!

    At the risk of being (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 09:18:15 PM EST
    overly simplistic, most of this can be traced back to the Iraq invasion which set in motion a chain reaction of destabilization in the ME. Even the impetus behind the  increased radicalization and ascendent popular support of Hamas can be traced back to Operation Neocon Delusion.

    An ISIS tweeter today (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:36:32 AM EST
    said ISIS wouldn't exist if the U.S. hadn't invaded Iraq. I'm not saying it's true, just that others believe it. (He's not an ISIS fighter, but one of the regular re-posters of their news.)

    Something else similar would exist if not ISIS (1.00 / 0) (#19)
    by Green26 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 08:16:47 AM EST
    The invasion of Iraq obviously didn't cause 911 nor all of the other terrorist activity that occurred before the Iraq invasion. The Iraq invasion did not create Al Qaeda. The Sunnis and Shiites have been fighting since the 600s. Iran and Iraq probably would have been back at it by now, if Saddam was still in power. While it is possible that the Iraq invasion had minor impact on Arab Spring activities, the Iraq invasion surely didn't cause that.

    There are various comments out there, by knowledgeable people, saying its wrong to think that nothing would have changed in this area and in Iraq, if the Iraq invasion hadn't occurred. The region is very unstable and there continue to be huge evolving forces of change impacting the area.

    It's hard to tell what the poster meant by such a short tweet, but it's either a narrow comment, or, if broader, I don't agree with it or believe it's accurate. I could also see a similar tweet: "One thing for sure, is that ISIS would not have taken huge territory in Iraq if the US had left enough military presence in Iraq to maintain the gains of the last years of Bush and first year or so of Obama, and to keep a closer eye on Maliki."

    As stated previously on various occasions, I prefer to look forward to figure out what to do now and in the future, as opposed to playing the blame game.


    ISIS has a religion preference, it is Sunni (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 08:34:19 AM EST
    The United States invasion led to marginalization of Sunni, that birthed ISIS.  I could maybe agree with you if the Bush administration wasn't warned that disrupting the existing power structure of Iraq would lead to exactly this...it did, and they were warned.

    Colin Powell himself brought up the Pottery Barn rule too, if they break it they own it.  The Bushies own this.

    Many individuals commenting on this seen unable to remember that Iraq is also a sovereign nation again.  It was returned to Iraqis under the Bush administration.  It no longer BELONGS to the United States in the same fashion that it did the day George W Bush invaded it, so everyone who is a NeoCon around here forgetting basic reality and basic law as to what President Obama can or should do might want to engage some gray matter.


    Okay fine, Tracy (1.00 / 3) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:07:16 AM EST
    Bad Bush! Bad Cheney! Bad America!

    But Obama was elected, by you, to fix the problems. And his fix was this:

    "With regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should be a status of forces agreement," Romney told Obama as the two convened on the Lynn University campus in Boca Raton, Fla., that October evening. "That's not true," Obama interjected. "Oh, you didn't want a status of forces agreement?" Romney asked as an argument ensued. "No," Obama said. "What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East."


    His fix is like a surgeon cutting off the wrong leg. The patient is left helpless and worse than before.

    He has done nothing and he intends to do nothing. His intentions was and is to remove America as a world power so we can live in "peace" with the Islamic radicals and terrorists.

    That will not end well.


    It was George W Bush who tied (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:12:22 AM EST
    Obamas' hands(or any Republican successor) by signing the SOF agreement.

    To suggest that Obama could've renegotiated that in our favor(of course, how could it be favorable to have 10K troops tied up in Iraq is another question) demonstrates that you have a serious problem accepting the reality of the situation in Iraq.


    Pure nonsense (1.00 / 3) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:17:42 AM EST
    Obama was elected President.

    He had the power to do what he wanted to do.

    And he did.

    He did not want to leave troops.

    He did not.

    The results speak for themselves.


    Ah, the old (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:25:47 AM EST
    "Let's break treaties and promises when it suits us" POV.

     He had the power to do what he wanted to do.

    And he did.

    Sure, and the check is in the mail, the dog ate my homework, and we'll call you.

    Any other tired cliches you can parrot today?


    Obama got what he wanted. (1.00 / 4) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:44:43 AM EST
    He has blood to his eyeballs.

    And he is loosing a war that was won and over.

    You know, you can't trust a Leftie around a war that we've won. They'll give it away no matter what the cost is.


    Jim, that is a load of horsecr$p (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Jack203 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:49:01 PM EST
    Pure Neocon excemement that Bush won the Iraq war and Obama lost it.

    The war was never winnable.  You don't spread Democracy by gunpoint and handing out money.  For over a decade we were acting police force for a Shiite regime trying to suppress the Sunni regions.  The war was a total disaster from start to end.

    Obama did this country a favor by getting us out of Iraq as soon as possible.  The longer we stayed, the more we would have lost.  You don't double down on stupid.

    Before the Iraq invasion, Iran was westernizing at a brisk pace.  The mullahs were quaking in their boots.  If we didn't invade Iraq, I truly think the Middle East would have had a real "Spring" awakening...beginning with Iran.

    The Bush, Cheney and the rest of the neocon inept fools did more damage to this country than Osama Bin Laden did on 9-11.  The only difference I have with many on the left, is I truly think GWB thought he was doing the right thing for America by spreading Democracy in Iraq.  He was just a complete and utter fool that did not understand the Middle East past, present or future.


    You have to understand (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by jondee on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:16:11 AM EST
    that when Jim talks about "wars lost" he's responding to a muddy film running over and over again in his mind's eye of dirty liberal hippies running amok in the streets in 1968.

    Don't expect him to be able look clearly on what's occurring now anywhere in the world.


    Don't blame Jim (none / 0) (#61)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:05:43 AM EST
    Information reaches him slow (as in most red states). It is because of internet speeds. link

    If he had left troops... (none / 0) (#60)
    by unitron on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:35:22 AM EST
    ...they'd have been subject to local law, and there's no way that doesn't end badly.

    If what you really want to say is that Iraq shouldn't have any more sovereignty than we give them, then come out and say it, but reflect carefully on how an official adoption of such an attitude would influence how all the other countries in the world would view us and how much less they would trust us or want to have anything to do with us.

    I'd just as soon not have a world where we could forget about having any military allies, ever.


    I hired Obama to fix my nation's problems (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:27:10 AM EST
    Iraq was a sovereign nation, its own nation, the day he took office.  It was not his to call the shots in.  He was responsible for his troops there and he was responsible for acting on a study indicating that having troops doing Iraq tours was destroying his Army's morale, recruitment was broken, and that it was becoming a national security issue.

    Iraq was never Obama's to fix, his job is fixing my country where he can....where Republicans don't have his hands completely tied at this time.


    In case you forget (1.00 / 3) (#37)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:46:32 AM EST
    we were there because of Iraq's actions.

    We replaced a rogue regime.

    We had every right to keep troops there as we did in Germany and Japan.

    Obama chose not to.

    Obama has blood on him up to his eyeballs.


    A rogue regime :) (none / 0) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:19:58 AM EST
    Based on what?

    He'll tell you that all the intelligence agencies (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:20:41 AM EST
    told us that Saddam had WMD, except when they didn't.

    On Sept. 18, 2002, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, according to two former senior CIA officers. Bush dismissed as worthless this information from the Iraqi foreign minister, a member of Saddam's inner circle, although it turned out to be accurate in every detail. Tenet never brought it up again.

    How come Iraq... (none / 0) (#59)
    by unitron on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:26:26 AM EST
    ...wasn't a rogue nation when they attacked Iran, but were when they invaded Kuwait?

    Obama's job (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:46:12 AM EST
    Look after OUR/HIS forces

    Look after OUR/HIS national security

    Just one of many many facts and figures work ups


    Slate article (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:02:43 AM EST
    Broken Arrow

    Reading all of these articles and studies returns me to the stress of those times too.  My feels like it is standing on end right now.  My head used to feel like it could explode back then too, constant migraines from the stress.


    ISIS tweeter (none / 0) (#51)
    by Green26 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 01:36:17 AM EST
    I just looked at a bunch of this guy's tweets. He looks pretty off the wall and biased to me. Maybe I just couldn't understand what he was saying, but I sure wouldn't rely on anything he says. Looked like he had a bunch of official twitter comments on lots of his posts.

    Sorry, but what you said isn't true. (1.00 / 0) (#12)
    by Green26 on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 11:49:09 PM EST
    Sure, the Iraq invasion has had various consequences, but it's just plain not true that everything happening in this area and in the Middle East resulted from the Iraq invasion. Arab Spring is largely not the result of the Iraq invasion, for example, and the forces behind Arab Spring are still evident and causing many things to occur.

    Haven't read any articles on this, but I wonder if Saddam would have been overthrown or assasinated by now had the Iraq invasion not occurred.


    jondee said... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by unitron on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:32:46 PM EST
    ..."...most of this can be traced back to the Iraq invasion...", to which you replied "...it's just plain not true that everything happening in this area and in the Middle East resulted from the Iraq invasion."

    How long ago did "most" and "everything" become exactly equal?


    See, it didn't hurt! (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 09:12:38 PM EST
    Just please do your country (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by jondee on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 09:38:20 PM EST
    and in the future don't reflexively throw your support behind any coterie of GOP nutbars just because you're still upset about what happened in the sixties.

    do your country a favor.. (none / 0) (#10)
    by jondee on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 09:40:00 PM EST
    jondee, what happened in Vietnam (1.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 10:22:46 PM EST
    taught the Muslim terrorists how to attack us.

    l'd say the first rule of thumb (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by jondee on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:06:59 AM EST
    to avoid being attacked by a people is stay the hell out of their country and it's affairs.

    As John Qunicy Adams, that old leftie said (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 08:29:25 AM EST

    America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.  She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

    Worked well in 18th and 19th centuries (2.00 / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:14:16 AM EST
    started to fall apart around 1910 and crumbled on 12/7/41.

    You remind me of one of my Grandfathers who never forgave Roosevelt for getting us into WWII. He was an isolationist Republican. There were many like him around back then.



    Yeah, the war came to us with (none / 0) (#30)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:28:52 AM EST
    the unlimited U-boat warfare and the Zimmerman telegraph in WWI, and the Japanese attacked us in WWII, and in neither case we didn't seek them out to fight.

    Thanks for displaying a truly astounding lack of how history works, James.


    And, I might point out (none / 0) (#31)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:43:15 AM EST
    Germany in both wars and Japan in WWII had active warfare and conquered significant areas of nations or nations in their quest for dominance before we came into the picture, the same of which can't be said for either Al Qaeda or ISIS.

    Correction (none / 0) (#32)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:44:49 AM EST
    In neither case did we seek to fight them when they first became active.

    You make my point (1.00 / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:50:44 AM EST
    In neither case did we seek to fight them when they first became active.

    And millions died because the French dithered, the English declared peace and we thought our two oceans protected us.

    I am again reminded what Heinlein wrote years ago.

    Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accept the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay-and claims a halo for his dishonesty."


    Ever hear this one? (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 04:28:27 PM EST
    Violence begets violence.

    "An eye for an eye (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 05:08:10 PM EST
    leaves us both blind."

    Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

    Our two oceans protected us (none / 0) (#40)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:07:22 PM EST
    is an oversimplification and something I've never stated was a valid concept in the first place.

    The point remains(which you fail to address again), ISIS doesn't have the military capacity, the armaments(except those we provided to the Iraqi forces that they later captured) or the industrial capacity to fight a war like the Germans in WWI or the Japanese in WWII.  Plus, like the Japanese, the ISIS may fail to establish a terminal offensive line, and the fact that they are probably better political strategists than they are military, which is where the rubber hits the road.

    Where are the ISISs equivalent of the bombers that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor with?  Where are the forces like the Wehrmacht units that overran Poland in 1939?

    Many thanks for making mine again, albeit inadvertently.


    BTW (none / 0) (#41)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:39:36 PM EST
    I'm never stated that I'm a pacifist, but points to you for trying to use Heinlein to smear me.

    Heinlein's quotation (none / 0) (#54)
    by jondee on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:28:18 AM EST
    Implies that one can't make a meaningful, life-enhancing contribution to one's "social group" without serving in the military.

    I agree (none / 0) (#55)
    by sj on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 02:33:54 PM EST
    Which was one of the premises of "Starship Troopers", I think. That one's military service was a prerequisite to voting rights.

    At least Heinlein actually served in the military.


    So did that German guy with (none / 0) (#56)
    by jondee on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 03:56:25 PM EST
    the Charlie Chaplin mustache who was awarded the Iron Cross. So did Charles Whitman and Arthur Shawcross and many others who missed out on the character-building experience everyone is supposed to have in the military.

    Look what happened to Rome (none / 0) (#53)
    by jondee on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:21:59 AM EST
    when they ignored the so-called isolationists.

    Cast the mote out of thine own eye first etc is every bit as true on the level of entire nations and governments.


    They're not adrenaline junkies (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 10:31:26 AM EST
    They are psychopaths, pure and simple, just like any other violent force that joyously kills. Hell, our own military if filled with them. No different than Charles Manson with a militia. Period. They'd be raping the corpses of children and eating the innards if their "leaders" told them to.

    Psychopaths. Run. The. World.

    Potential impact of takeover of Mosul dam (none / 0) (#2)
    by Green26 on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:17:07 PM EST
    "If the take over of the dam is confirmed, it would sharply raise the stakes in the groups' bid to topple the Baghdad government. Control of the dam could give it the ability to flood major cities." This quote is from the linked article above on the takeover of the dam. This is a partial answer to a question asked in yesterday's open thread, as to why ISIS might open the floodgates.

    Wouldn't that mean destroying Mosul first? (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:25:25 AM EST
    I don't see how that works out for them even if they did control the dam, which the Kurds are saying they still control.  The dam ISIS wants is Haditha.  Destroying a major Sunni city in Iraq makes zero sense for them to do.

    Perhaps you should consult the writer (none / 0) (#15)
    by Green26 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:00:35 AM EST
    of the article Jeralyn linked. I just quoted the article.

    Wouldn't the first article (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 08:10:50 AM EST
    I have read that made no logical sense and practiced fear mongering in the last 13 yrs.

    Tracy, don't you think Obama has gotten (1.00 / 1) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 08:53:27 AM EST
    enough information from the forces you claim to be gathering intelligence and spotting targets???

    Unless you have a direct line to the JCOS (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:02:03 AM EST
    I think you don't know whether Obama has done too little or what.

    Since when Jim (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:13:26 PM EST
    Does an article.....any article pulled out of the hat....equal what military intel is doing?  Or what our President is doing with his military intel along with what the brains at State are advising, assessing, recommending, and arguing for?

    Never have I read more journalist trusted and the loop, or more journalists just pulling stuff out of their arses :)


    Sniping comments deleted (none / 0) (#48)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:00:54 PM EST
    I'm getting tired of reading insults (many off topic and retreading the same old political beefs these commenters have held on to for years.) You will simply have to take these spats elsewhere. I'm about to put a few of you in timeout.

    I don't care what your views are, but if you want to comment on this site, you will express them without insulting others, name-calling and dominating or hijacking the thread.

    The topic here is ISIS. Not Obama.