Oh, my friends, my friends don’t ask me
What your sacrifice was for . . .
—Lyric sung by the character Mario in the musical play, Les Miserables.
* * *
The United States lost 4,801 lives in its illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Nearly 1.5 million Iraqi men, women and children were slain in the illegal United States invasion and occupation of Iraq.
The illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq cost American taxpayers $1.5 trillion.
In the news today:
A terrorist group that even al Qaeda deems too radical and unpredictable now controls the second largest city in Iraq, commanding the airport, government headquarters, and prisons.
Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) — also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) — seized control of Mosul, the capital of northern Iraq, after six days of heavy fighting against Iraqi security forces.
Iraq’s speaker of parliament, Osama Nujaifi, told reporters in a televised news conference that the militants have taken over the entire city along with several villages and a military air base south of Mosul. This means ISIS now has control of some military aircraft and helicopters.
Nujafi said, “The presence of these terrorist groups in this vast province … threatens not just the security and the unity of Iraq, but the whole Middle East.” He heaped derision upon the performance of Iraq’s U.S.-trained military during the ISIS assault. “When the battle got tough in the city of Mosul, the troops dropped their weapons and abandoned their posts, “ he said. Photos of the aftermath of the takeover show Iraqi army uniforms strewn on the road out of Mosul by the fleeing troops.
More news from Iraq:
In the eastern city of Baqubah, a least 31 people were killed and 29 injured in a Tuesday bombing that targeted Shiite mourners. An explosive device planted inside a cemetery went off as mourners buried a local teacher killed in an earlier militant attack.The death toll is expected to rise further as many of the injured are in critical condition.
Iraq has experienced a surge of violence in recent months.
While the army battles militants in the country's western and northern provinces, other areas of Iraq have had unrelenting bombings, assassinations and attacks on both civilians and security personnel.
The United States government named its illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”