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story.lead_photo.caption Kurdish security forces deploy outside of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad on Thursday, June 12, 2014. The al-Qaida-inspired group that captured two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq this week vowed on Thursday to march on to Baghdad, raising fears about the Shiite-led government's ability to slow the assault following the insurgents' lightning gains.

BAGHDAD — The al-Qaida-inspired group that led this week's charge in capturing two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq vowed Thursday to march on to Baghdad, raising fears about the Shiite-led government's ability to slow the assault after lightning gains.

Signs emerged that the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant is backed in its campaign by former military officers and other members of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, including a force led by Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the late leader's former deputy who escaped the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and eluded U.S. and Iraqi forces ever since.

In the north, Kurdish security forces took over an air base and other posts abandoned by the Iraqi military in ethnically mixed Kirkuk, a senior official with the Kurdish forces said. He denied they had taken over the oil-rich city.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki asked parliament this week to declare a state of emergency that would give him increased powers to run the country, but the lawmakers Thursday failed to assemble a quorum to do so.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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  • FreeSpiritMan
    June 12, 2014 at 9:47 a.m.

    Thank you GW Bush for allowing al-Qaida to establish a foothold in Iraq where they were not before your invasion.

    June 12, 2014 at 12:48 p.m.

    I am in total shock. Who could have seen this coming? I am really impressed in how the Iraqi soldiers that we trained stood their ground. And we paid the ultimate price for these cowards.

  • FreeSpiritMan
    June 12, 2014 at 10:42 p.m.

    Yea, super and the same thing is going to happen in Afghanistan when we leave. We had no business in either country except just long enough to get UBL at Tora Boro caves where Bush , Chaney, Franks and Don would not send airborne troops to seal off routes of escape to Pakistan. No one can nation build in that part of the earth period not the Russians or the US. Both have tried and failed.

  • 000
    June 12, 2014 at 11:47 p.m.

    True, FSM. No nation building possible. Eradication of jihadists is possible, however. It just takes the will to carry it out.