“Baghdad is going to be overrun. The Green Zone is going down,” a U.S. intelligence official told Fox News Thursday.
The comment comes as the security situation in Iraq quickly deteriorates, with large swaths of the embattled country now controlled by a deadly Al Qaeda affiliated extremist group.
Islamic militants who seized cities and towns vowed Thursday to march on Baghdad to settle old scores, joined by Saddam Hussein-era loyalists and other disaffected Sunnis capitalizing on the government’s political paralysis over the biggest threat to Iraq’s stability since the U.S. withdrawal.
New footage obtained by the Associated Press showed Islamic militants overrun a former U.S. military base in the Iraq city of Tikrit.
Trumpeting their victory, the militants also declared they would impose Shariah law in Mosul and other areas they have captured.
The dire situation has resulted in Iran, a historic nemesis to Iraq, coming to the aid of the country, according to Fox News, which reported that about 150 fighters form the elite Revolutionary Guards have been dispatched to the embattled country.
“This is an extremist, terrorist group that is acting savagely,” Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said on state television.
[sharequote align=”center”]“This is an extremist, terrorist group that is acting savagely.”[/sharequote]
President Barack Obama said Iraq will need more help from the United States, but he did not specify what it would be willing to provide. Senior U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name said Washington is considering whether to conduct drone missions in Iraq.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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