Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr's parliamentary bloc has blamed outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the spread of militancy in the country after the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group seized the key city of Mosul earlier Tuesday.
"We've been urging decisive action against Al-Qaeda and the ISIL in Iraq, which has gone so far as to seize entire districts of certain provinces," MP Amir al-Kanani, leading member of al-Sadr's Ahrar coalition, told Anadolu Agency.
Al-Kanani said that the coalition holds al-Maliki – in his capacity as commander of the Iraqi armed forces – and all government officials responsible for failing to adequately resist militant groups.
"There are foreign schemes that aim to pull Iraq back towards civil war, which would be disastrous," al-Kanani asserted.
Early Tuesday, the ISIL reportedly captured Mosul – Iraq's second-largest city and capital of the northern Nineveh province – after days of fighting with security forces.
The ISIL's capture of Mosul comes after the group attempted to seize several districts of the city of Samarra in the neighboring Saladin province on Friday. Iraqi forces managed to retake the districts after hours of fighting.
Meanwhile, the ISIL has remained in control of the city of Fallujah in the predominantly-Sunni Anbar province, west of Baghdad, since last December.
Iraq has seen a marked uptick in violence in recent months.
While the army has continued to battle the ISIL in the country's western and northern provinces, other areas of Iraq have seen unrelenting bombings, assassinations and attacks on both civilians and security personnel.
By Adnan Jassim
www.aa.com.tr/en - Bağdat