Al-Qaed-Iraq fighters moved in on two more Iraqi towns early Friday – Jlawla and Saadiyeh, both in eastern Iraqi Diyala region near the Iranian border. Iraqi troops melted away as the jihadis moved in. Iran Thursday sent Al Qods commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani to Baghdad to prop up Nuri al-Maliki’s government and pull the demoralized and scattered Iraqi army together to push back against Al Qaeda advances. ISIS forces have meanwhile stopped their advance on Baghdad and halted at Samarra 70 km short of the capital.
Kurdish militiamen secured their party HQ in Jalawla before the Islamists arrive and were not attacked.
Thursday, the Kurdish autonomous region in the north took advantage of the Iraqi army’s flight to take control of Kirkuk and its oil fields just outside their border.