Friday, June 13, 2014

Choosing Rebels Over Army, Iraqis Head Home

By TIM ARANGO, NYT
JUNE 12, 2014

ERBIL, Iraq — After Islamic extremists swarmed his city this week, Saad Hussein fled here with his wife and six children. But after one night, he was on his way back home to Mosul, hearing that things were quiet there.

“What can we do?” said Mr. Hussein, at a checkpoint on the road from Erbil to Mosul. “You have to depend on your God.”

Another man stood nearby, his two small sons tugging at his belt. He had left Mosul and was waiting to enter Erbil, about 50 miles to the east. “We don’t know what will happen in the future,” said the man, Ahmed Ali, 31. “The government is not there. It’s empty.”

As many as 500,000 Iraqis fled Mosul this week after the city was besieged by the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, many of them Sunnis who seemed less fearful of the beheadings and summary justice that the group is known for than of their own government and the barrage it might unleash in an effort to take the city back.

(More here.)

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