Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Iraq Updates - July 1 , 2014 -- Iraq Parliament failure to even have a quorum in today's emergency session ( Sunni and Kurd factions walk out , no Government announced , focus on Partition looms even larger ) ..... News of the day focusing on the deterioration in Iraq's political situation , the state of play in the battle for Iraq , Kurds still seeking their independence - despite opposition from US and Turkey . Regional impacts noted as Lebanon seems at risk from islamist infusions .


( Al Qaeda is like disco - outdated , irrelevant and destined for the unkind dustbin of history..... unless its sponsors step up and help make AQ relevant once again ! )

ISIS Is Hiring Judges, Doctors And Engineers As Al-Qaeda Prepares For War Against Caliphate

Tyler Durden's picture

As we reported earlier, in what was perhaps the first official action by the jihadists with theglossy year end brochures, the newly crated ISIS Caliphate which stretches from Syria to Iraq (and which is not longer ISIS, just IS, or Islamic State) made a global call urging the Muslim proletariat to immigrate to the newly created territory in a clear example of what in the US would be called "porous" immigration policy. Judging the by the expansive proposed borders, the terrorist organization, which in the past has received occasional training and support by the US and with a penchant for cannibalism will have a while to wait before its removes all the slack from its incipient economy, more or less like the Fed.
But perhaps more curious is that the leader of the self-proclaimed al-Qaeda spin off nation, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in addition to a broad religious call to arms, so to speak, also beckoned workers with a specific skillset to present themselves for duty: namely those with military, medical and managerial skills were urged to flock to the newly-declared state in an audio recording released Tuesday.
As Al Arabiya reports, the newly named “caliph” said the appeal especially applied to “judges and those who have military and managerial and service skills, and doctors and engineers in all fields.”
It goes without saying that IS is also in need to fighters (not to mention suicide bombers, although compensation arrangements there could be problematic): Baghdadi also addressed the group’s fighters, saying that “your brothers in all the world are waiting” to be rescued by them.
“Terrify the enemies of Allah and seek death in the places where you expect to find it,” he said. “Your brothers, on every piece of this earth, are waiting for you to rescue them.”
“By Allah, we will take revenge, by Allah we will take revenge, even if after a while,” Baghdadi said. “Fighters should “embrace the chance and champion Allah’s religion through jihad,” he added.
Undated file picture claims to show Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Furthermore, since the caliphate is now wealthier than its ideological competitor Al Qaeda ever was, it just may be the case that Europe (and/or the US) may suddenly experience a major skilled worker brain drain as the best doctors, managers and engineers rush to get paid by terrorists, with the occasional virgin thrown in as a Christmas bonus.
Perhaps ironically, the biggest question now is not whether or not IS(IS) will continue its jihad against Baghdad and seek to branch out by, say, crossing the Atlantic - that much is guaranteed - but what happens with the abovementioned Al Qaeda itself, which will hardly stand idly by and watch as it is upstaged by its formerly smaller, and (formerly) far more irrelevant spin off.
According to AFP, the declaration of an Islamic caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria is a direct challenge to Al-Qaeda and could set off a dangerous contest for the leadership of the global jihadist movement, experts say.
Paradoxically, it would be the west that suffers the most:
Desperate to retain its preeminent role, the movement behind September 11 may be driven to carry out fresh attacks on Western targets to prove it remains relevant.

"This competition between jihadists could be very dangerous," said Shashank Joshi of the London-based Royal United Services Institute, warning that Al-Qaeda may look to make a "spectacular" show of force.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced on Sunday it was establishing a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria where it has seized control. A form of government last seen under the Ottoman Empire, a caliphate has been a long-held dream of radical jihadists who want to impose their version of Islamic sharia law.

Renaming itself simply the Islamic State (IS), the group also daringly declared its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as caliph and "leader for Muslims everywhere".
Here is where it gets interesting: Al-Qaeda can hardly ignore what is essentially a declaration of war from an upstart that has scored a string of successes, said Magnus Ranstorp, an expert on radical Islamic movements at the Swedish National Defence College.
"The competition has already started," he said."Al-Baghdadi already refused to pledge allegiance to (Al-Qaeda leader Ayman) al-Zawahiri and now he can say: 'Look what we have accomplished... You are just somewhere, we don't know where, talking on the Internet.'"

For a new, younger generation of radical Islamic militants, Al-Qaeda with its grey-bearded 63-year-old leader is no longer the draw it was under Osama bin Laden.

Believed to be holed up in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, Zawahiri in their eyes seems to have done little in recent years beyond issuing statements and videos.
Finally, in what could be thecoup de grace in its recruitment efforts, the Islamic State is allowing its cannibal terrorists to use FaceBook and Twitter. In other words, the original Al Qaeda will have to blow up some really big and really symbolic buildings to regain its coolness factor from its much younger and much hipper Islamic State terrorist competition.

Vineyard of the Seeker Overview - July 1 , 2014....

1st JULY IRAQ SITREP by Mindfriedo

1st July: Iraqi MPs are sworn in but fail to reach consensus or after interval quorum needed. The 225 MPs present were supposed to start by selecting a speaker for the house; the speaker has to be a Sunni as per the constitution. The house has been adjourned to Tuesday next week. Kurdish MPs and those of the Union of National Forces withdrew their members resulting in the minimum quorum of 150 not being met. The Kurdish MPs were upset when they were accused of giving shelter to rebel groups in Kurdistan. The Motahedoun coalition, which is led by the Sunni ex speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, the Kurds, and the Shia National Coalition opposed a third term for Maliki and withdrew. 

1st July: At least 14 people are injured and one dead in mortar attacks on the Askari shrine in Samarra. The shrine was unharmed. The Iraqi air force carried out retaliatory air strikes on the militants targeting the shrine. The man killed was a construction worker repairing the shrine. Shells had landed near their caravans parked 150 meters from the shrine. 

1st July: Turkey has seen a sharp decline of its exports to Iraq. The trade between the two countries was 12 billion USD annually but has decreased by 21%. 

1st July: The Iraqi interior ministry has given orders to provide for the volunteers aiding the security forces. 

1st July: The President of Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, has declared his intention to hold an independence referendum soon. Dates are yet to be decided. 

1st July: Turkey has criticized any move to create an independent Kurdish state. It has referred to Iraq as “an existing state with an existing constitution.” However, Erdogan has expressed a desire to continue importing crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan. 

1st July: Hossein Amir Abdul Allahaan, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran has during his visit to Moscow referred to Daash in Iraq as the “US attempt to make Iraq a second Ukraine.” He has declared Iran’s willingness to supply military equipment to Baghdad. 

1st July: The United States is sending an additional 200 men to Iraq along with additional drones and helicopters to protect its interests. 

1st July: Mosul is suffering from water shortages (the main water supply station has been bombed), food shortages, and power shortages. 

1st July: The governor of Ninaveh, Athel Al Nujaifi has asked Maliki and his ministers to realize the real cause of the fall of Mosul. He has blamed the collapse on the corruption of officers from the intelligence, interior and defense ministries. He has also named specific units such as the second brigade of extortion and oil smuggling. The oil was being smuggled to Daash. He has also pointed out that repeated letters sent to the respective ministries had resulted in no concrete result as the corrupt officers held sway. 

1st July: The UN has listed 2417 Iraqis killed in June 2014. 

1st July: Images have appeared showing Daash fighters wrapped in and using “YURT KUR” Turkey University Students’ blankets. 

1st July: Tweets reportedly sent by Daash (not sure if this is genuine, propaganda, or counter propaganda) claim to want to attack the Kaba and destroy it. The tweets claim that Muslims are praying to a black stone. 

1st July: Daash fighters have paraded a Scud Missile on its carrier in their Capital Raqqa, Syria or DI of Daash. The missile is believed to be inoperable. 

1st July: Iraq governments tally for the day: 

Daash commander for Kirkuk region is killed by Iraqi Security Services in Kirkuk province. His name was Abu Bakr al-Shishani. 

50 Daash fighters killed in the west of Mosul. Abu Ayman, a foreign fighter from Afghanistan, was amongst the dead. 

Mansouriya district north of Baqouba, Diyal Province saw fresh clashes between rebel fighters and security personnel. One soldier and three Daash fighters are reported killed. 

Two IEDs had exploded in Baghdad on Monday not one as reported earlier. They were in western and southern Baghdad killing nine civilians. 

A Kurdish civilian was killed by terrorists in al-Aitha village north east of Baqouba.

Further reading: 

An excellent article on RT on shared heritage of Iraq, not just of its sects but Humanity 


An article on a Jewish blog that talks about Israeli involvement in Iraqi Kurdistan, including that of Mossad. The blog is primarily about Jewish refugees: 


An Article on RT that shows a map of how the oil flows 


Fighting extremism a dollar at a time 


Tweets of note - FWIW

Acc to the Pentagon 750 US troops now deployed in Iraq. 180 mil advisors in Baghdād ops centers, 470 security personnel at US embassy (1/3)

100 troops previously on standby in the region deployed at Baghdād Int. Airport providing security and logistics support (2/3)

AH-64 Apaches also deployed at BIAP/Muthanna airbase, armed Predator or Reaper drones providing air cover for US embassy (3/3)

NO QUORUM in PARL EMERGENCY SESSION is proof that is dysfunctional - broken beyond repair - Focus NOW on now 3 separate states.

 Retweeted by Alexblx
's leaders now folded like their military in face of crisis failing to name a Parliament speaker and ensuring more chaos

 Retweeted by Alexblx
Kurds & Sunnis walk out of first meeting of Iraq's Parliament, deepening turmoil & uncertainty over who can lead a nation at war.

 Retweeted by Alexblx
parliament 1st session of 3rd term convened & post phoned 4 one wk. So much for urgency w/all that is riding on politics and "unity"

 Retweeted by Alexblx
Only 75 in parliament now according to interim speaker. That's far short of the 165 needed for quorum.

" Commander: regime helps using methods supporting in " >

Pres > ' ALREADY "effectively partitioned" - 'plans to hold a secession referendum in months'

" rebels, includ Islamist factions, say 'creation of a caliphate by the Islamic State () was "null and void"


Iraq parliament adjourns as rebellion mounts

MPs fail to agree on new speaker, halting a process that would swear in new administration to face Sunni rebels.

Last updated: 01 Jul 2014 11:14
Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker
Email Article

Print Article

Share article

Send Feedback

Iraq's armed forces have faced a lightning assault by rebels aligned with the Islamic State group [AFP]
Iraq's parliament has been adjourned for a week, hours into its first session, after it failed to reach agreement on senior appointments, as the country grapples with an onslaught from Sunni rebels.

The acting speaker said on Tuesday that no agreement had been reached on naming a new speaker and that the parliament had no quorum, and must be adjourned.
Parliament convened with 255 deputies out of 328, but only 75 returned after a recess to discuss candidates.
The Reuters news agency quoted al-Hafidh as saying that the adjournment would last a week.
The parliament was due to elect a new president after confirming the speaker. The president would then charge the leader of the biggest parliamentary bloc with forming a government as prime minister.
The Shia political bloc of Nouri al-Maliki, the incumbent, won by far the most seats in the April polls, but his reaffirmation as prime minister is being opposed by Sunni opponents, and even some allies who want a less divisive leader.
Maliki has himself said any attempt to override his authority would be attempting a coup.
The forming of a new government comes as the UN said more than 2,417 Iraqis had been killed in June alone, making it the deadliest period since the height of sectarian warfare in 2007.
The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIL and the pre-eminent force in the rebellion, on Sunday said its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was now the ruler of a new caliphate stretching across areas under his control Syria and Iraq.

Anti War.....

Iraqi Parliament Ends as Sunnis, Kurds Walk Out

First Session Lasts Less Than Half an Hour

by Jason Ditz, July 01, 2014
Iraq’s parliament met for the first time since the election today, with 255 of 328 MPs showing up, with others boycotting it outright. The session lasted less than a half hourbefore a walk out of Sunni and Kurd MPs meant they no longer had the quorum needed to vote on a parliamentary speaker.
Even the brief meeting reflected Iraq’s divided state, with a shouting match breaking out over a complaint by a Kurdish MP that the central government has stopped paying all officials in Kurdistan, leading Shi’ites to blame the Kurds for the ISIS takeover of the West.
We will crush beneath our shoe anyone who tears down the Iraqi flag,” one of the State of Law MPs screamed at the Kurdish constituents, while others demanded the Kurdish Peshmearga defeat ISIS for the Iraqis before trying to assert any rights for the Kurdish region.
Iraq’s Shi’ite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani had sought not only a speaker at today’s session, but for the parliament to name a consensus president and premier as well. In the end, none of that happened, and

Pentagon: Iraq Violence Could Further Delay F-16 Shipments

Iraq Scrambling to Acquire Russian Planes

by Jason Ditz, June 30, 2014
Iraq’s Air Force looks like it’s going to have to make do with Soviet hand-me-downs for the foreseeable future, as the Pentagon says that the escalating violence in the country is likely to further delay the shipments of F-16s.
Iraq ordered F-16s from the US in 2011, and has not gotten any yet. The Pentagon says that contractors at the key Balad air base had to be evacuated because of the ISIS incursions, and that’s slowing the whole process down.
The Maliki government seems to be figuring on this not happening any time soon, and has been scrambling to acquire planes from Russia. On Friday, they ordered Su-25s from Russia, and they were delivered on Sunday. Other, older Soviet-made planes are being sought from Iran, who impounded a large number of Iraqi planes back during the first Gulf War.
Maliki had blamed the lack of warplanes for his country’s recent losses to ISIS, saying if they had an actual Air Force, and not just a couple of Cessna trainers firing US Hellfire Missiles, they might’ve actually slowed the advance of the rebels.

5,456 Killed Across Iraq in June

Death Tolls Soaring as Iraq Falls Apart

by Jason Ditz, June 30, 2014
The month of June is over, and unsurprisingly has wound up not only the deadliest of the year for Iraq, which is rapidly flying apart at the seems, but is indeed the deadliest month there in many, many years.
The Antiwar.com figures show 5,456 killed, including 3,627 militants, and 2,553 wounded, including 93 militants. The low militant wounded figure is because militants wounded are not widely reported, and so it is a dramatic under count.
That’s up from 2,249 killed in May, which was itself the worst toll of the year. The UN figure for May was 799, but they deliberately excluded Anbar Province, which was where most of the fighting was.
Methodology (from Margaret Griffis)
The U.N. has been reluctant to give a full account of the deaths in Iraq, due to the inability to confirm many of the reported deaths. For several months, they’ve avoided publishing any figures from occupied Anbar province, for example, even confirmed civilian deaths.
Many of the reports, particularly those from the Iraqi government need to be taken with a grain of salt. First, they appear to be undercounting military deaths. If they are to be believed, then several ground clashes resulted in the deaths of dozens of militants but not one soldier or policeman. It is also impossible to tell if they are overcounting militant deaths. Some of the tallies of militant deaths in airstrikes deep within occupied territory seem completely made up.
Antiwar.com has ignored some of the most outlandish reports, while still trying to make sense of what is obviously a very deadly situation. Any estimates made by anyone, even authorities in Iraq, are going to simply be estimates.

ISIS Mortars Hit Near Key Shi’ite Shrine in Samarra

Shrine Was Bombed During 2006, Destroying Dome

by Jason Ditz, June 30, 2014
ISIS fired mortars landed just outside of the al-Askari Mosque in Samarra today, killingat least six and wounding nine people just outside the gate of the golden domed mosque, one of the most important shrines in Shi’ite Islam.
The Askari Mosque has beentargeted over the years by Sunni militants, with its dome destroyed in a 2006 bombing by al-Qaeda affiliates, and its golden minarets destroyed in an attack in 2007.
Attacking the mosque fueled outrage across the Shi’ite community in Iraq and abroad, though the site was fully restored by 2009. The ISIS targeting of the site again is likely one of the few things that could mobilize Iraqi Shi’ites against them more than they already are.
The city of Samarra is mostly Sunni, and ISIS has aimed to take it over, though its status as such an important historical Shi’ite pilgrimage destination means Iraq won’t give it up easily.

Little Backing for Maliki as Rivals Angle for Iraqi PM Slot

US Occupation Architect Ahmed Chalabi Among Front-Runners

by Jason Ditz, June 30, 2014
Iraq’s top religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani wants Iraq’s parliament to have an agreement on a new prime minister when it comes into session on Tuesday. There’s no sign that’s happened, but there seems to be growing consensus that whoever it is, it won’t be Maliki.
Current Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki has made a lot of enemies over the years, and Ammar al-Hakim, a top figure in the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), says Maliki hastwo big obstacles to a third term: Shi’ites, and everyone else.
None of the other Shi’ite parties want anything to do with Maliki, and even his own State of Law Party has engaged in the talks on trying to choose his replacement.
Two front-runners seem to have emerged. The SIIC’s Adel Abdul Mahdi, who was a Vice President for years, seems to have the inside track, which the notorious Ahmed Chalabi, the lone MP from the Iraqi National Congress, has managed to insinuate himself into the discussions.
Bankrolled by the CIA, Chalabi was an architect of the false pretexts for the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, and after years of the US distancing themselves, he’s found himself once again welcomed at the US Embassy in Baghdad, suggesting growing US openness to going back to the Chalabi well one more time.
Many Shi’ite factions are hoping to replace Maliki with a consensus builder who might drive a wedge in the Sunni insurgency. Chalabi seems in that regard a terrible choice, as a long-time head of the De-Ba’athification Commission who fought hard to keep many Sunni MPs out of parliament. It is hard to imagine a more divisive figure than Maliki in Iraq, but Chalabi must be a close second.

Turkey Opposes Kurdish Independence From Iraq

Denies Close Ties With KRG Mean Support for Secession

by Jason Ditz, June 30, 2014
Turkish officials say that their government continues to oppose Kurdish independence, and wants a “unity government” in Iraq that would ensure Iraq’s territorial integrity.
Opposition to Kurdish independence anywhere in the world has been a long-standing policy of the Turkish government, but with close ties to Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and some serious business interests behind secession, there was growing speculation that Turkey was warming to the idea.
It was also believed that endorsing secession from Maliki’s Iraq, with which Turkey doesn’t have very warm ties, would improve the Erdogan government’s standing with their own Kurdish minority leading up to elections.
So far Israel is the only country to formally endorse Kurdish secession, and with the US loudly opposed to the idea there was likely pressure on Turkey to tow the line as a NATO member.

ISIS Surges Have Lebanon in Their Crosshairs

Recent Bombings Underscore ISIS Intentions to Strike

by Jason Ditz, June 30, 2014
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) makes no bones about its ongoing territorial ambitions, and that has put both Iraq and Syria on their heels fighting them, and Jordan scrambling to defend its border.
But it may be Lebanon that is in the crosshairs for the next surge in strikes, and ISIS confirmedthree bombings against targets in Lebanon in a five day span were all their handiwork, suggesting that surge may already be beginning.
The bombings have targeted tourist sites and Shi’ite neighborhoods, in and around Beirut, with ISIS particularly keen to target Hezbollah targets in the area,  as a Shi’ite militia opposed to their surge.
Lebanese officials are also warning that Lebanon is seeing a growing number of foreign jihadists flocking there on their way to Syria and Iraq, and the country could end up being a staging area for ISIS and other factions in the region.


Kurds, Sunnis Walk Out of Iraq’s First Parliament Session

By RUDAW 1 hour ago
Security was fortified in Baghdad for the opening of parliament. AFP file photo
Security was fortified in Baghdad for the opening of parliament. AFP file photo
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Sunnis and Kurds walked out of the Iraqi Parliament’s first session on Tuesday, jeopardizing efforts at putting together a unity government to confront a jihadi-led offensive that threatens to rip Iraq apart.
The Parliament had convened as pressure mounted on the Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step down amid a crisis that has seen jihadi-led insurgents capture much of northern Iraq.
The legislators had convened for the first time since April 30 elections in which Maliki and his State of Law coalition won many votes, and as the country struggles to deal with Sunni insurgents led by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who have captured entire cities over the past three weeks and vow to march on Baghdad.
Meanwhile the United Nations said that the death toll for June, in all of Iraq except Anbar province which is the country’s largest and entirely in the hands of the insurgents, was 2,417 people, three times more than 799 killed in May, before the insurgents began their advance. Most of those killed in June – 1,500 – were civilians.
The government declared a national holiday as the parliament convened in Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone, with many shops and businesses in the capital remaining closed and security forces out in large numbers, manning checkpoints and on patrol.
The United States and Britain have both urged Maliki to quickly establish a unity government with robust roles for the Kurds and Sunnis, both large minorities who want Maliki to step down. The beleaguered prime minister has stubbornly rejected forming a salvation government, and has ruled out stepping down.
Although the walkout was not anticipated, the lead-up to the opening of parliament had not been propitious. 
On Monday, the leaders of the Shiite National Alliance, which includes Maliki, failed to agree on a candidate for the premiership, while vowing to actively participate in the first parliament session.
The same day, Iraq’s former prime minister Ayad Allawi, who heads the Watanya Sunni bloc, called on members and other Sunni leaders to boycott the vote on electing a new prime minister and inclusive government.
Meanwhile MPs from the autonomous Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq expressed mixed feelings about their safety in Baghdad. Maliki has accused the Kurds of instigating the current turmoil, and some Shiite militias have been venting their anger at the Kurds, who have denied having to do anything with the trouble.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has vehemently opposed another term for Maliki, indicating it may pull out of the political process – or break out for independence – unless the premier steps down and a unity government takes his place.
Kurdish MPs in the Iraqi parliament say they do not trust the security situation in Baghdad and believe the Green Zone is no longer as safe as before.

ISIL seizure of refinery 'has consequences'

Faith in the Iraqi army's strength is reaching a new low, after ISIL-led rebels seized a major oil refinery in Baiji.

Last updated: 01 Jul 2014 10:54
Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker
Email Article

Print Article

Share article

Send Feedback

The "Islamic State" wants Baiji's tribal chiefs to take charge of the refinery to ensure oil flow to cities they control [Reuters]
Baghdad, Iraq - Approximately 200km from the city of Mosul, now controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), one by one, Iraqi soldiers in the northern predominantly Sunni city of Baiji are giving up their arms and fleeing to safer parts of the country.
Hosam al-Rikaby, a former marine in the Iraqi military, believes it was the Iraqi government that urged its forces to surrender.

"They know they do not have the logistics capability to fight ISIL. They have only two options; fight them and get killed, or turn in their weapons," Rikaby told Al Jazeera.
The army's surrender of Baiji comes after 10 days of battle where forces gave up control of one of Iraq's most vital oil refineries last Tuesday to ISIL, the group now calling itself the "Islamic State".
The Islamic State wants Baiji's tribal chiefs to take complete charge of the refinery to ensure a steady flow of oil in cities they already control, such as Mosul in the north, Iraq's second largest city, as well as different parts of Kurdish Iraq.
But on the other side of the information-giving spectrum, government owned television station Al-Iraqiya believes the fight for the refinery is still ongoing, as announced on June 24 when forces started to surrender.
Control of Baiji's oil refinery means Iraq could lose 30 percent of its oil supply (other sources of oil come mainly from the south of the country and from oil imports).

MAP: Rebel's path through Iraq

An all too familiar scene of cars queuing at gas stations can be seen far away in the capital, Baghdad. At the city centre in Fardus Square, there are people like Dawoud al-Tamini, a 41-year-old mechanic, who is filling up extra containers of oil after hearing that ISIL could take over the city of Baiji as a whole.
Tamini wants to be prepared when the crisis comes. "If it's true, there will be a massive shortage in oil, electricity and gas. But if they're only rumours, at least I won't be taking any risks," he said, making friendly chatter with passersby in the long queue.
Maliki has been in power for eight years. There is more than enough oil in Iraq, but still there are power outages every single day.
- Basem Anton, vice-chairman of the Iraqi Economists Association
Judging by the ease in which the Islamic State seized major cities in recent weeks, the pressing question now is whether or not the Iraqi army will be able to cope with these rebels elsewhere.
Basem Anton, an economy expert and vice-chairman of the Iraqi Economists Association, fears that the Islamic State seizure of Baiji will have far-reaching consequences. "These rebels are capable of paralysing Baghdad. We have oil stocks, but sooner or later, our sources will be depleted," Anton said.
Power cuts are almost regular in Baghdad. According to Anton, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is to blame for the current turmoil the country is facing. "Maliki has been in power for eight years. There is more than enough oil in Iraq, but still there are power outages every single day," Anton told Al Jazeera.
The Iraqi government so far, has failed to provide sufficient oil resources to its inhabitants, despite the ample amount of crude oil reserves in the country. This has been a long-standing issue: Iraq remains dependent on oil imports for domestic use since the war started in 2003.
Abdullah el-Badri, secretary-general of OPEC, believes the international market has nothing to worry about. He announced during a press conference on June 25 that the current crisis has not had and will not have any effect on the global stock market, even though the seizure of Baiji could have rippling effects throughout the country.
"Recent price hikes are the result of speculation. At this point there is no threat to the oil market," Badri told Al Jazeera.
As for the country’s stock market, there has been no noticeable impact. "Iraq is the second biggest producer of crude oil after Saudi Arabia. The country holds more than 11 percent of the world's proven oil reserves and produces around 3.4 million barrels a day and will continue to do so," said Badri.

IN PICTURES: Running on fumes in Kurdish Iraq

Like every normal work day, the stock market in Baghdad opens its doors at 10am. Behind a high security fence and multiple security checkpoints, Jimy Afham Toma, a stockbroker sits at her desk.
"We see the usual fluctuations of course, but there is nothing alarming," Toma told Al Jazeera. "There was a peak in oil prices last week for the first time in nine months and that closed one barrel at $115 each. But oil prices have started to decline again. So far, the turmoil here has had no significant damage on Iraq's ability to export crude oil."
But the tone of Toma's voice suspected otherwise as she gulped the last few sips from a cup of tea. "Who knows what tomorrow could bring? But I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that everything will be resolved soon."
The Iraqi soldiers' surrender is more than a gain for the Sunni rebels of the Islamic State. It reaffirms the strength of the group and the weakness of the national Iraqi army.
At one of the numerous checkpoints set up across Baghdad, scores of soldiers are standing guard. "If ISIL [the Islamic State] reaches Baghdad, I’m fleeing," one of them said.
Faith in the Iraqi army's strength and numbers is reaching a new and low ebb, not just among the people in Baghdad - who are on edge due to recent events - but also throughout its own ranks.