June 25, 2014 By

Syrian Warplanes Kill at least 50 in Western Iraq


Amidst the escalating Sunni insurgency in Iraq causing widespread destruction and chaos, at least fifty people were killed and 132 injured in an attack by Syrian warplanes in the western Iraqi province of Anber on Tuesday. It was the second consecutive day of the airstrikes by Syria, who has now joined hands with Iran in backing the Shiite dominated Baghdad government to fight the ISIS-led rebels by deploying special forces to protect the capital and the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.

The missiles hit a municipal building, a market and a bank in the district of Al Rutba, according to the provincial officials. No confirmation has been received yet from the Syrian authorities, Iraqi military air force officials or the U.S State Department that the Syrian fighters had entered Iraqi airspace.

A senior U.S intelligence official said on Tuesday that the Sunni militants were “well positioned” to hold a broad swath of territory captured in northern and western Iraq if the Baghdad government failed to produce a robust counter-offensive. He added that the ISIL has weapons and income amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars coming from looting the military equipment in Syria and Iraq and raising money through kidnapping, robbery, smuggling and extortion schemes, including the imposition of a “road tax” in Mosul.

The Sunni rebels have advanced towards Baghdad taking control of the towns and cities in five provinces north and west of the capital, and murdering the Shiites. At least 1,075 people, majority of them civilians, have been killed and 658 wounded between June 5 and 22 during the fighting in the provinces of Nineveh, Diyala and Salah Al Din, the U.N. said on Tuesday.

U.S Secretary of the State, John Kerry made an unannounced visit to the autonomous Kurdish regional capital of Arbil on Tuesday urging the President Massud Barzani to work to uphold Iraqi cohesion. Kerry had met Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other Sunni leaders in Baghdad on Monday urging a formation of a government following the April elections to fight the insurgents.

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