Iraqi soldiers describe heavy losses as Islamic State overruns camp | Reuters

by Faiz Ahmed last modified 2014-09-29T16:19:38-04:00
"The raid [by Islamic State fighters] at Saqlawiya is the latest since the northern city of Mosul fell to Islamic State in June to exposes the Iraqi military's shortcomings. It followed a massacre of an army detachment at Camp Speicher in the same month, in which military recruits were led off the base unarmed and murdered in their hundreds. Like at Camp Speicher, it remains unclear how many men were present at the base in Saqlawiya and how many are now dead and missing. However one officer who survived the raid said that of an estimated 1,000 soldiers in Saqlawiya, only about 200 had managed to flee. Full story here.

Also see: Tariq Ali & Patrick Cockburn: The Rise of ISIS and the Origins of the New Middle East War | Counter Punch

"I think this is, it’s difficult to think of another example in history, where there are 300 or 350 thousand men in the Iraqi army, they’d spent 41.6 billion dollars on this army over the last three years. But it disintegrated because of an attack by maybe a couple of thousand people in Mosul. ... At the time of the fall of Mosul there are meant to be 30,000 troops there. In fact, it’s estimated that only one in three was there. Because what you did was: you joined the army, you got your full salary and then you kicked back half that salary to your officer, who spread it among the officers. They have no interest in fighting anybody; they have interest in making money out of their investment. ... I can’t think of any of such a large well-equipped army disintegrating. You could say that Saddam’s army disintegrated in ’91 when attacked by the Americans, and again in 2003. But then it was attacked by the largest military force in the world and was being bombed. So it’s not a parallel."
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