Fighters pushed towards Baghdad earlier today as President Barack Obama said he was exploring all options to save Iraq´s security forces from collapse and US companies evacuated hundreds from a major air base.
With fighters closing in on the capital, forces from Iraq´s autonomous Kurdish region took control of a swathe of territory they have sought to rule for decades against the objections of successive governments in Baghdad.
Foreign Minister Hosyhar Zebari acknowledged that the security forces Washington invested billions of dollars in training and equipping before withdrawing its own troops in 2011 had simply melted away.
Obama said Iraq was going to need “more help from the United States and from the international community.”
“Our national security team is looking at all the options… I don´t rule out anything,” he said.
Russia said the lightning gains by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a movement so radical it has been disavowed even by Al-Qaeda´s leadership, showed the pointlessness of the 2003 US-led invasion, carried out in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
Washington found rare common cause with its longtime foe Tehran, with both voicing dismay at the Sunni extremists´ advance and pledging to boost aid to Iraq´s beleaguered Shiite prime minister.