Tikrit and Kirkuk fall

The Battle for Baghdad is about to begin:

Iraqi Kurdish forces took control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk on
Thursday, after government troops abandoned their posts in the face
of a triumphant Sunni Islamist rebel march towards Baghdad that
threatens Iraq’s future as a unified state.

Mosul, Sunni militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
(ISIL) staged a parade of American Humvees seized from the collapsing
Iraqi army in the two days since the fighters drove out of the desert
and overran Iraq’s second biggest city. Two
helicopters, also seized by the militants, flew overhead, witnesses
said, apparently the first time the militant group has obtained
aircraft in years of waging insurgency on both sides of the
Iraqi-Syrian frontier.

State television showed
what it said was aerial footage of Iraqi aircraft firing missiles at
insurgent targets in Mosul. The targets could be seen exploding in
black clouds. Further south, the fighters
extended their lightning advance to towns only about an hour’s drive
from the capital Baghdad, where Shi’ite militia are mobilizing for a
potential replay of the ethnic and sectarian bloodbath of 2006-2007.

Three of Iraq’s four major cities are under control of one of the rebel forces. This is the natural consequence of the USA foolishly failing to partition Iraq into its three obvious parts, Kurdistan, Shiastan and Sunnistan. It’s also informative to see how quickly the Iraqi government has been forced to stop relying upon its professional army; it has adopted a militia system to reinforce the regular soldiers and is arming volunteers in order to defend Baghdad.

That is a compelling rebuttal to the modern notion that militia forces are outdated, when the fact is that while smaller, well-trained professional forces are useful for offensive actions, they are considerably less effective in defensive ones.