Militants seized yet another city Tikrit, the home town of ex. president Saddam Hussain yesterday but their assault on Samarra was repulsed as a lightning offensive launched in second city Mosul swept ever closer to Baghdad.
Since the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant began their spectacular assault in Mosul late Monday, militants have captured a large swathe of northern and north-central Iraq, prompting as many as half a million people to flee their homes.
The speed with which ISIL and its allies have advanced after their seizure Tuesday of Mosul — a city of two million people — has sent alarm bells ringing not only in Baghdad but in Western capitals.
In a statement on Twitter, ISIL vowed that it would “not stop this series of blessed invasions” that has seen the fall of the whole of Nineveh province in the north and swathes of Kirkuk and Saleheddin provinces further south.