World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has asked parliament to declare a state of emergency after the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) assumed full control of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city on Tuesday.
Iraq's Parliament Speaker Usama al-Nujaifi has called on the US to intervene in Iraq, adding that he has also discussed the crisis with the automous Kurdish Regional Government president Masoud Barzani, who said he was willing to offer troops to fight off the rebels.
After capturing Mosul's airport and a number of helicopters, ISIL rebels proceded to free 1,440 prisoners from the Badush prison. They are now believed to be marching towards the city of Salahuddin.
"How could the entire security forces withdraw şn the face of terror and surrender the city to the ISIL? An urgent probe needs to be started into why the security forces pulled back from Mosul. All sides of the political spectrum must stand united against this terror," Nujaifi said, addşng that hundreds of thousands were now trying to flee ths city.
Security forces withdrew as the ISIL overtook the city, the capital of the Nineveh province, the source said.
Earlier in the day, another security source confirmed to AA that the rebels had controlled Mosul airport as they swept the northern half of the city.
"They seized the Nineveh Operations Command headquarters in Al-Tayaran district in the south and the Police Directorate building in the central Al-Dawasa district," the source added.
Several local television channels transmitting from the city had gone off air after the rebels advanced into the city.
"Kidnapped truck drivers"
Turkish media reports said the drivers were taken hostage by militants from the Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) while carrying diesel from Turkey's southern port of Iskenderun to a power plant in Mosul.
"The situation in Mosul looks a bit grim ... Concerning the 28 truck drivers, we are trying to confirm through our consular department but we have nothing as yet," one Turkish official told Reuters.
An official at Ikra Logistics, a trucking company based in the southern Turkish city of Adana which ships diesel to Mosul, said it had lost contact with some of its drivers and that they could be among those reportedly abducted.
"Their phones are switched off," the official said, declining to be identified or to comment further as the situation remained unclear.
The ISIL have killed security guards at Anbar University and taken a number of staff and students hostage on Saturday before releasing 300 students. The ISIL has been leading the anti-government uprisings in the Anbar cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in recent months.
Kurdish admin steps up security presence
The autonomous Kurdish Administration in northern Iraq has stepped up its security presence near the city of Mosul, a Kurdish security official has said.
"Kurdish Peshmerga forces reinforced their positions, including military equipment, on Mosul's eastern and northern outskirts," the official told Anadolu Agency.
"Peshmerga [Kurdish military] forces were deployed to Mosul [on Monday] night, but the provincial security leadership refused to allow them to participate in the operation," Deputy Nineveh Governor Hassan al-Alaf said.
He added that the Mosul headquarters of the two main Kurdish parties had both been evacuated following the ISIL's takeover of the city.