The U.S. has issued a partial evacuation of the Embassy in Baghdad as Sunni insurgents continue their march toward the city of Baghdad, The Washington Post reports.
The American Embassy in Baghdad is America’s largest, with 5,000 staffers and officials.
The U.S. has taken additional security measures. One hundred Marines have been sent to amp up security of the U.S. Embassy and corresponding areas of diplomatic relations.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki issued a warning to those traveling in the area.
“Due to the relocation of personnel from Baghdad, the embassy will only be restricted in its ability to offer all consular services; but emergency services are always available to U.S. citizens in need at any embassy or consulate anywhere in the world,” Psaki said.
President Barack Obama has already said that no ground troops will be deployed, but the U.S. is considering an air strike. The USS H.W. Bush has been deployed to the Persian Gulf, arriving Sunday along with a cruiser and destroyer.
But additional support is needed to keep the Islamic militants out. According to Fox News, many Iraqi troops are surrendering to the extremist group. ABC also reports that young Iraqi volunteers loaded into trucks Monday to fight the insurgents.
ISIS has been steadily marching its way through Northern Iraq making its way to take over Iraq. It plans to institute Sunni law. If the insurgents are successful, this could revert Iraq back into a jihadist state.
ISIS’s threats are not unwarranted. The past week, the Islamic militant group utilized social media to instill fear and tout their power by posting pictures of members of the dead opposition party.
According to the Daily Mail, ISIS brags of killing 1,700 opposition soldiers, providing pictures on their twitter account as visual proof. One picture displayed a police officer with his severed head lying on his legs. The caption said, “This is our ball…It is made of skin” with the hash tag, “world cup.”
As ISIS marches on, it has set its eyes on Baghdad. The terrorist organization has seized the cities of Mosul and Tikrit, both north of the capital city.
Because the ISIS threat expands beyond the boarders of Iraq, the U.S. is considering taking joint action with Iran.
Rep. Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, spoke about the crisis with Chris Wallace on his Sunday show on Fox News.
“Well, again, leadership is important,” Rogers said. “Absence of leadership and decisiveness is important in this. It’s too late to have long, political reconciliation meetings that will last weeks or months to try to get through even the finest points of difference. You have an al-Qaida army on the move. This isn’t just Sunnis versus Shias. This is an al-Qaida-minded group that is using all of the tactics of brutality to subdue Mosul and Tikrit and other places.”
Rogers also believes the violent insurgency poses a future threat to America’s national security. With radicalized Americans in the area owning passports, ISIS could realistically act on their impulses to begin external terrorist operations
“At some point, even ISIS was saying, and this got into the dispute with al-Qaida leadership, we want to do external operations and, by the way, we know we have these Westerners who have come to jihadist Disneyland in eastern Syria that we can further radicalize, train, and send back to Europe and send back to the United States. And that’s significant, Chris, because we’ve had our first American used in a suicide bombing in Syria,” Rogers said.
Despite the Obama’s hesitation to intervene in what many consider to be a civil war, Rogers said the threat extends far beyond two Islamic factions.
“Not every Sunni has joined al-Qaida,” Rogers said. “We have an al-Qaida problem. That’s what we have today, in a scale that we’ve never seen before. That’s our problem.”