To World War Two-era Marines, Saipan, Tarawa and Peleliu aren’t just names to faraway places on a map, but battlefields that ran red with the blood of their fellow Leathernecks. Today’s Marines feel the same emotion when they hear of Fallujah, Tikrit and Ramadi. As reported on June 13, 2014 by Bloomberg News, The Washington Post and London’s The Daily Mail, as well as separate Washington Post article of Jan. 3, 2014, Iraqi cities and towns where American forces once defeated terrorists have since fallen to the same al-Qaeda-allied jihadists.
With the al-Qaeda aligned ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) terrorist organization not only taking huge swaths of territory in the north, east and central regions of Iraq, their road to victory has been as bloody as it has been a surprise to many American journalists. ISIS troops moved into Iraq last year, with the city of Fallujah calling to the hard line Islamists falling to them almost six months ago.
Nonetheless, during a presidential press conference on the South Lawn of the White House, an unidentified member of the Fourth Estate queried of the Commander-in-Chief, “Mr. President, is the Syrian civil war spilling over the Iraq border?” There has also been scant coverage by the American media that ISIS has long seized Fallujah, whose eastern outskirts are a scant 25 miles from Baghdad International Airport.
As reported, ISIS has placed the heads of government troops and police officers on poles trophy-style on the road outside of the recently fallen city of Tikrit. Despite vastly outnumbering the ISIS fighters, the Iraqi Army rank and file has has not only ran away just as fast as their feet can take them, but has also blamed their officers for abandoning them in the face of the enemy. According to one anonymous soldier, “commanders slipped away in the night rather than mount a defence of the city.”
The New York Times recently made note that the Iraqi Army is “losing as many as 300 soldiers a day, between desertions, deaths and injuries…” Besides Fallujah roughly 25 miles from the western suburbs of Baghdad, the ISIS troops are now 90 miles to the north, and closing fast.