Wielding the threat of sectarian slaughter, Sunni Islamist militants claimed on Sunday that they had massacred hundreds of captive Shiite members of Iraq’s security forces, posting grisly pictures of a mass execution in Tikrit as evidence and warning of more killing to come.
The possible mass killing came as militants cemented control of the city of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, after two days of fierce clashes with Iraqi troops, residents and senior security officials said. The city came under mortar attack, sending many residents fleeing toward Sinjar to the west and Mosul to the east. Residents said the militants freed dozens of prisoners.
Even as anecdotal reports of extrajudicial killings around the country seemed to bear out the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s intent to kill Shiites wherever it could, Iraqi officials and some human rights groups cautioned that the militants’ claim to have killed 1,700 soldiers in Tikrit could not be immediately verified.
. . . .
The sectarian element of the killings may put more pressure on the Obama administration to aid Iraq militarily. In fact, the militants seemed to be counting on it. A pronouncement on Sunday by the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had a clear message for the United States: “Soon we will face you, and we are waiting for this day.”
If this keeps up, Iraqi politics might get as brutal as Hillary Clinton’s experience of United States politics.
Meanwhile, we’re moving (some) people out of the embassy, and (supposedly) beefing up security (I know):
On Sunday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that some U.S. security personnel will be added to the staff at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and other staff members will be temporarily relocated to consular offices in Basra and Irbil and to the Iraq Support Unit in Amman, Jordan.
A “substantial majority of the U.S. Embassy presence in Iraq will remain in place,” Psaki said in a statement, and “the Embassy will be fully equipped to carry out its national security mission.”
I think we all see where this is headed.
That’s if we’re lucky.