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Insurgents take over two more Iraq towns, Obama threatens air strikes

Published on Jun 13, 2014 3:35 PM
 

BAQUBA, Iraq (Reuters) - Sunni Islamist militants gained more ground in Iraq overnight, moving into two towns in the eastern province of Diyala, while United States President Barack Obama considered military strikes to halt their advance towards the capital Baghdad.

After security forces abandoned their posts, security sources said the towns of Saadiyah and Jalawla had fallen to the insurgents, along with several villages around the Himreen mountains, which have long been a hideout for militants.

Militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) overran the northern city of Mosul earlier this week and have since pressed south towards Baghdad in an onslaught against the Shi'ite-led government.

The Kurds, who run their own autonomous region in the north, have taken advantage of the chaos to expand their territory, taking control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and other areas outside the formal boundary of their enclave.

US President Barack Obama speaks during the 70th French-American Commemoration D-Day Ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, on June 6, 2014. Sunni Islamist militants gained more ground in Iraq overnight, moving into two towns in the eastern province of Diyala, while United States President Barack Obama considered military strikes to halt their advance towards the capital Baghdad. -- PHOTO: AFP 
 
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