For a previous August 7th live interview with Canon Andrew White on the ground in Iraq while facing ISIS, please click here.
The Islamic State group has made gains in Iraq, approaching the country’s largest city Monday. Meanwhile, ISIS continued to attack Kurdish town Kobani in northern Syria. While the Turks have sent tanks to the border, so far they haven’t lifted a finger to help the Kurds, who face being massacred if ISIS keeps advancing.
The Vicar of Baghdad sent an SOS from the besieged Iraqi capital Monday and warned that the murderous Islamic State militants were breathing down their necks.
“People are very fearful the nation looks as if it has collapsed,” Canon Andrew White, who runs the last Anglican church in Iraq, wrote on his Facebook page. “The usual hectic and crazy streets were this morning almost empty.”
White, who also heads British-based charity Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, made the social media post before Iraqi forces — backed by airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition — appeared to stymie the ISIS advance.
But according to White, the Islamic fanatics were less than two miles from the city’s borders and he warned that the Iraqi Army was no match for them.
“This morning I was with one of my soldiers who is assigned by the government to protect me,” White wrote. “I asked him what he would do if he saw ISIS coming. He told me he would take off his uniform and run.”
White wrote that when he asked his bodyguard “if he took seriously his role as a soldier to fight and protect his people,” the soldier said no.
“He told me he just did it because he needed the money,” White wrote.
Pentagon officials noted that the Iraqi Army and ISIS have been fighting for weeks on the outskirts of the sprawling city and that Baghdad itself remains in government hands.
White, 50, wrote that many Baghdad residents have no way of knowing how the war is really going because they are cut off from the rest of the world.
In an overnight Facebook post, an apparently panicked White wrote, “The Islamic State are on the Verge of Entering Baghdad.”
Later, White issued a revision.
“We do not really know what is happening,” he wrote. “All we know is that people are very afraid we know that civilians have been killed in air strikes we know that there are huge battles with ISIS and we know that our army is not very efficient.”
Full article: ISIS militants less than 2 miles from Baghdad, fierce fighting reported near Iraqi capital (NY Daily News)